Roldan header leads third-ranked Washington past Oregon State
SEATTLE -- No. 3 Washington (9-0-3, 2-0-1 Pac-12) rolled on, defeating Oregon State (7-5-0, 0-3-0) in Pac-12 action, 1-0. Cristian Roldan headed in a Michael Harris flip throw and that would be all the scoring the Huskies would need to stay unbeaten.
“It was a strange game because we were always comfortable, yet they could have equalized in the final minute,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “We had most of the ball, but we just couldn’t put them away.”
The Dawgs did indeed control possession throughout the game. Husky defenders Taylor Peay, Justin Schmidt, Harris and Andy Thoma built from the back through the midfield and seemed to have time whenever they needed.
Washington’s goal came off of one of Harris’ patented flip throw-ins in the 32nd minute. Harris launched a long throw at goal where a swarm of Huskies surrounded the Oregon State goalkeeper. The throw traveled all the way to the far post where Roldan timed his leap perfectly and nodded home the goal. It was the second goal of the season for Roldan in his rookie year. Harris added his fifth assist, once again coming with his hands instead of his feet.
It was a big game for Roldan, a freshman who last year was the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year. Roldan, a Pico Rivera, Calif. native, started the game in the central midfield, his natural position, but something he has not played yet this year. An injury to Ian Lange has at least temporarily opened the spot for Roldan to pair with James Moberg in the middle.
“Cristian and Moberg were the difference in the game because they handled the ball better than we have in awhile,” said Clark.
For the game, Washington outshot the Beavers 13-10. Mason Robertson nearly made it 2-0 when he headed a cross on frame, but it was cleared off the goal line by an Oregon State defender.
The Beavers chances were few and far between, although the nearly tied it in the 90th minute. Knowing they were up against the time, Oregon State rushed players forward and sent the ball into the box. After a clearance attempt bounced around a Beaver player back-healed the ball towards goal, but the Dawgs cleared it off the line to survive.
The win allowed Washington to keep pace with No. 1 California at the top of the Pac-12. Each teams only blemish is the tie from when the two teams played. The Golden Bears are up a win, but have played one game more.