88th minute: The equalizer.
Long Beach State senior Kim Silos side-steps to her right, avoiding a sliding Oregon defender. Silos sizes up and fires a shot off her right foot (for the record Silos is left-footed). The shot sails through the air in a slow-motion-like, slipping just under the crossbar and over the outreached hand of Oregon goalkeeper. Nothing but net.
The goal was the equalizer in what was a a high energy, physical, 3-3 2 OT contest between the Long Beach State 49ers and the visiting Oregon Ducks.
This was without a doubt the ‘Niners toughest home opponent so far this season, as the teams engaged in a thrilling back and forth match that saw six different players score goals and kept the crowd into it all 110 minutes of play.
Hayley Bolt broke a scoreless tie in the 31st minute with a diving header in the box off a Nicole Hubbard pass. Hubbard who has impressed with her solid defensive presence showed her versatility having two assist the last two games. In fact, her center to Bolt came after receiving a rebound off a previous pass, and shielding off a defender to get it through.
Oregon would then answer the call, catching the ‘Niner defense off guard when Oregon’s Teresa Bowns unleashed a right-footed rocket in the 39th minute that flew perfectly into the top-right corner of the goal.
Two minutes later, the 49ers regained the lead on a Lindsey Bullock penalty kick. Credit Mariko Strickland for hanging in the box, trying to create before getting tripped up by an Oregon defender right in front of the ref.
Not to be out done, Oregon answered two minutes later when Jen Stoltenberg put in a free kick from what seemed like a mile away (or around 35-40 yards) into the same top-right corner. The score was all knotted at two’s.
In the second half, the ‘Niners seemed to lapse into crowded space, never really creating opportunities like they did in the first. And Oregon took advantage scoring in the 52nd minute on as Jessica Goodell found the back of the net past ‘Niners goalkeeper Liz Ramos, (who came in after Breanna Truelove who really couldn’t do much to stop those two first-half Oregon goals).
The crowd grew restless in anticipation of Silos’ equalizer, but it was well worth it when her shot hit the net and the crowd rose off their seats in synchronized fashion.
The overtime period saw both teams threaten in the early going with both keepers (Ramos has two and Duck Cody Miles has three saves) making key blocks to preserve the tie.
Long Beach State won’t be back at George Allen field until October 3rd, when they open up conference play against UC Davis. But before then, the ‘Niners will be battle tested, with games at utah and Utah State followed by a trip to Arizona and Arizona State both Pac-10 schools like Oregon.