—by Jolene Thomson
We all know what friendlies are—or at least, what they’re supposed to be, in theory. A match not so intensely competitive; one that played for little more than its own sake. (MLS pre-season matches we’ve seen this year might make such a definition questionable at best.)
If there’s one friendly the Thorns play in the pre-season that we can hope will remain neighborly, let’s hope it is the match played with our collegiate neighbors to the south.
Oregon State University Beavers will play Portland Thorns on March 30th. OSU already has a meaningful connection to the Portland Thorns—2015 forward Jodie Taylor was an Oregon State standout 2004-2008. Also, those who look today may see a distinctly Portlandesque imprint on portions of the Corvallis squad.
Goalkeeper Lizzy Coryell played several years for the Westside Timbers, winning a state championship in 2013. Forward Maddie Misi also played several years with Westside Timbers in varying positions, and had two years on the Westside Timbers WPSL team. Former Jesuit goalkeeper Lindsay Lamont helped Crossfire Oregon to state championships in 2012 and 2013. Midfielder Annie Govig played with FC Portland in addition to captaining Sherwood High School’s team.
Slated to join the team this Fall, incoming freshman forward Jada Krening was the 2015 Oregon Live Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She spent the last two seasons with the Portland Thorns Academy, and was the first Parkrose student to accept a Pac-12 scholarship. As Team Captain, Krening set the Parkrose High School record with 81 goals in her four seasons (while maintaining a 4.0—not too shabby!). Another new recruit, midfielder Diana Santiago, played for FC Portland as well as the Westside Metros.
There are other connections to Portland with the Oregon State squad. For the many who closely follow University of Portland soccer, Beavs Assistant Coach Michelle Voiland was starting goalkeeper and was a four-time All-Conference First Team selection at UP in the early to mid-nineties. She went on to play, and later coach, for FC Saarbruecken in the Bundesliga.
While the local connections are endearing, the talent on the OSU squad certainly isn’t limited to Oregonians. Defender Greta Espinoza is just returning from her most recent effort as part of the Mexican National Team, with whom she has 13 caps. Helene Haavik, a forward from Norway, Played for the U16, U17, and U19 Norwegian National Team and went to the European Championships all three years.
Certainly, we will be there to cheer for our Thorns as our priority. But if your schedule and collegiate allegiances allow, you may want to take time to cheer for those Beavs as well.
Sunday, March 27 – Houston Dash vs. Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 2 – Seattle Reign FC vs. Oregon State at 2:30 p.m.