Aug. 20, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. - Senior midfielder Sophie Schmidt broke a scoreless tie in the 75th minute will a goal off of a rebound as the No. 5 Portland Pilots defeated the Portland State Vikings 1-0 Friday night in the season opener for both schools. A crowd of 2,550 showed up for the season opener at Merlo Field at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex, despite school not being in session on the Portland campus until August 30.

The Pilots peppered the Vikings with a 27-2 shot advantage, but PSU goalkeeper Rachel Jarvis made 13 saves to keep the result in doubt until the closing minutes.

Schmidt could easily have had a hat trick as she tested Jarvis with six shots on goal, but the senior keeper was up the task all night long. She deflected a Schmidt shot from distance off of the cross bar in the 10th minute and pushed aside another shot that looked to be a sure goal in the 43rd minute.

Ironically, Schmidt was able to capitalize after Jarvis knocked down a rocket from the top of the box by Keelin Winters but couldn't hold onto the ball. The opportunistic Canadian National Team veteran beat Jarvis to the rebound by inches and found the back of the net for the game-winner.

Portland freshman goalkeeper Erin Dees (Downers Grove, Ill.) was not forced to make a save in picking up her first shutout at the collegiate level.

The Pilots controlled possession from start to finish and were in the attacking third for much of the match, but the Vikings defense held strong and prevented many point-blank shot attempts. Junior striker Danielle Foxhoven, the nation's leading scorer last season, was a threat throughout as was fellow junior forward Halley Kreminski.

Freshman Micaela Capelle (Gresham, Ore.) came on for Foxhoven in the second half and nearly doubled the margin with a 28-yard blast from the top of the box that was headed for the lower left of the goal in the 82nd minute. Jarvis fully extended at the last second to make the glove save.

Freshman Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) also made her collegiate debut and joined Dees in the starting lineup as the right midfielder.

The 1-0 score was the lowest in the all-time series between the city rivals. The Pilots have defeated the Vikings in all six meetings, including a 7-0 win in the last matchup during the 2007 season.

Portland will make a quick turnaround and play the first road match of 2010 on Sunday at Cal State Northridge. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.