Eight seconds to a NCAA record
Oregon State’s Robby Christner scored two goals in record time
Eight seconds can feel like an eternity to those who coach and play sports and to the fans who follow them. There were eight seconds left when Scott Norwood lined up for a 47-yard field goal attempt that would have given the Buffalo Bills a victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV. In 2008, there were eight seconds left when Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell decided to throw deep for receiver Michael Crabtree rather than a more conservative route that would have put the Red Raiders in field goal position.
Norwood missed his kick, leaving the Giants to celebrate a 20-19 win. On the other end of the spectrum, Crabtree caught Harrell's pass and then scored, giving Texas Tech a 39-33 win over the top-ranked Longhorns and crushing Texas' national title hopes.
In sports, a lot can happen in eight seconds. A goal to force overtime. A three-pointer that results in the lead changing hands. Even a movie that chronicled the life of bull riding champion Lane Frost was called 8 Seconds.
But some things just don't happen in that short of a time. Home run trots typically take twice as long. The 100-meter dash. A knockout in the ring. And before September 5, 2008: two goals in a soccer game.
That, however, changed that day when Robby Christner of Oregon State netted a pair of goals in eight seconds in the Beavers' win against Howard. The two tallies, Christner's second and third of the match, broke open a tight game and propelled OSU to a 5-0 win.
Oregon State grabbed an early lead, thanks to a goal by Collin Foster in the game's third minute. Christner extended the lead to 2-0 seven minutes into the second half after Josh Cameron delivered a through ball that sent Christner in on a breakaway. He slotted the ball inside the far post, beating Howard keeper Adisa Bekoe. But it was the next two goals that put Christner in the records book.
His header in the 64th minute was also assisted by Cameron and gave the Beavers a 3-0 advantage. On the ensuing kickoff, Howard dropped the ball back to a midfielder who immediately dropped it back to the right fullback. OSU forward Brian Ramsey pressured the defender, who tried to pass it inside to another defender. Christner read the play, intercepting the pass and taking one touch before taking a left-footed shot that went through Bekoe's legs. Christner had his hat trick. He knew that much. What he did not realize was that he was now an NCAA record holder.
"After the second goal, I was thinking hat trick," said Christner, who now plays professionally in Washington. "After the game, I don't think anyone knew what I did in terms of setting the record but I knew I had the hat trick and I was happy with that. Then (assistant coach) Gary Hamel came up to me and told me I had broken the record for the fastest two goals in NCAA history. I didn't really know how to react and just kind of laughed. It honestly didn't sink in until someone showed me that it was on NCAA.com. Then I realized what I had accomplished.
"Statistically, the record will obviously be a highlight for my career at Oregon State but teammates and friendship is what I took most from my time as an athlete at OSU."
Christner, who struggled with a sports hernia during his senior season, said he will always remain close to Hamel, as well as Oregon State's women's coach, Linus Rhodes, who coached him at the club level prior to his collegiate career. After having surgery to correct the hernia, Christner was working in sales before deciding to give soccer one more try. He played for two months in Switzerland and then played in an indoor league in California. From there, he went to Kitsap, Washington and made the roster of the Kitsap Pumas of the Premier Development League. Despite struggling with another hernia and a groin injury, Christner returned last season, helping the team capture the PDL championship.
|Men’s Soccer Record Book|
|Current DI Soccer Statistics|
"The fact that I am still playing is a highlight in itself for me," said Christner. "Traveling to Europe and winning a championship have been the finer points of my last couple of years. But from a soccer standpoint I don't know if anything will be able to top doing something like scoring twice in eight seconds."
The NCAA Stats at 75 series will be published weekly through May and will include interesting statistical championship stories and all-time great performances.