When you arrive in a new city and start a new job you want to get off to a good start, right? Matt Kagan must feel pretty good at Oregon State. He left an associate head coaching job at Mississippi State to come to the west coast and coach in the Pac-12. I had a chance to talk to Matt the day before Thursday's game against Idaho.
Matt's start in Corvallis is a best case scenario. He is now 8-0 on the season after the 2-1 win over the Vandals. The team is now tied for 35th in the country in this week's poll. Now, Pac-12 play begins on the 28th when the Beavs head to the Palouse to face Washington State. The Cougars are ranked #24 in the country. Kagan knows the path his team is on will step up in difficulty beginning next weekend. Four other Pac-12 teams are in the Top 25. USC sits at #2. Stanford #3. UCLA #5 and Cal is #21. But to start a new coaching job is impressive. Here is the official game story on the Idaho victory last night:
Junior Kaillen Fried scores a goal and records an assist to lead the Beavers (8-0-0) to a 2-1 victory over Idaho (2-7-0) on Thursday evening at Lorenz Field.
"I'm really proud of the athletes," said head coach Matt Kagan. "They have bought into the culture change and have come away with amazing results. We gave up a goal early, but they all hunkered down to get the equalizer, and then the game-winning goal."
The Beavers came close to leveling the score in the 34thminute when Kiah Dayton took a shot from the 20-yards out that hit the top left corner of the crossbar. Not even two minutes later, freshman Sophie Conrad scored her first career goal from just outside the box with her right foot off an assist from Fried.
Conrad and senior Taylor Lemmond each attempted to push the Beavers ahead in the first half, but Oregon State and Idaho enter halftime level, 1-1.
The Beavers entered the second half with new energy with Leblic and Marley Salveter firing shots that both went wide.Brianna McReynolds attempted her first shot of the game in the 57thminute that Idaho's keeper saved.
Salveter and Lemmond tried to give the Beaver's the lead in the 68thminute with back-to-back shots that were both blocked by the Vandal's defense.
Fried was able to get her foot on the ball in the 77thminute off a cross pass from McKenzie Weinert to give Oregon State the 2-1 lead.
Weinert recorded two more shots for OSU in the half, but both went wide as the Beavers captured the first undefeated non-conference start.
"This 8-0-0 start means so much to this program," stated Fried. "As a junior, I have seen the change the coaches brought in this year to how we play and the mindset we have on the field. Every day we come out and get better. I could not be more proud of this team and everything each one of them is doing behind-the-scenes because it has carried over onto the field."
The Beavers outshot the Vandals, 18-5. Sophomore Bridgette Skiba recorded three saves for OSU in goal.
"It's almost like a new season is starting," continued Kagan. "We enter Pac-12 play next week with a 0-0-0 record. The Pac-12 is the best conference in the country, and I'm excited to see what this team can do against some of the strongest opponents in the country."
Oregon State returns to action at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Pullman, Wash. to open Pac-12 play against Washington State airing on Pac-12 Oregon and Pac-12 Washington.
For more information on the Oregon State women's soccer team, visit OSUBeavers.com or follow the club @BeaverWSoccer on Twitter and Instagram.