SEATTLE, WA — (GoHuskies.com) Washington improved to 6-2-5 and 2-1-2 in the Pac-12 with a crucial conference victory over Oregon State. The Dawgs got an early goal from Beau Blanchard and that would be all that was needed as the Washington recorded their 10th shutout, 1-0.
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“You finish that half of the conference season with one loss so we are very happy,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “We knew that would be a tough game. Oregon State has improved over the last few years, closed that gap that I think at one point we had on them. It is nice after last year – we tied and lost – to get back on the winning side of the ledger.”
The win puts the Huskies back in position to contend for the conference title as Washington now has eight points, trailing only Stanford who has 13 through the first half of the double-round robin. The Dawgs still host Stanford later this season for what will be a crucial contest to help make up the difference.
Sunday, it was Blanchard who ended the Husky scoring drought just nine minutes into the game. Josh Heard made a great run to the endline and then cut the ball back across goal where Blanchard was waiting just outside the six-yard box to one-time it past the Beaver keeper.
It was an excellent combination as Heard did well to get to the endline and realize Blanchard had drifted back, instead of continuing his run all the way to the near post.
“We wanted two wide guys that would play wide,” said Clark speaking of Heard and Blanchard. “Heard did really well out wide. We wanted to have wide play and Heard is our best winger. I think the next best guy one one-on-one is Beau, so we wanted to try both sides, and he ended up coming inside off of Heard’s wide play to score. It was great.”
After the goal, the Huskies had the better of possession, but neither team had many chances. Washington’s next best chance came in the final seconds of the first half whenDanny Gavin‘s shot skipped off the top of the crossbar. Gavin picked up a deflection after the Oregon State keeper tried to punch a cross, but his shot from a tough angle was just inches too high.
After the break, Washington continued to keep the ball, but had only a couple chances. Blanchard nearly added a second goal on a run through the center of defense, but his shot was saved and Kyle Coffee‘s rebound went wide.
The Beavers had only a few of chances, but one that presented real danger. Hassani Dotson redirected a cross towards the near post, but it clanked off the woodwork.
A week after earning TopDrawerSoccer National Player of the Week honors, Ryan Herman needed to make just three saves in earning his ninth shutout of the season.
The Huskies will now have a week off from conference play, but head out on the road for a midseason non-conference match with Big-10 power Maryland. The game in College Park will be Friday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m., PT.