Losing your home opener is a tough loss, but sometimes it's what a team needs to prepare them for the sports season that is to come. An example of this is last season, when the Oregon State Men's Soccer team went from losing their home opener, to finishing third in the conference.
The Beaver’s home opener was on August 30 against the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleer. Although Oregon State junior midfielder Joel Walker scored for the Beavers in the game, the Chanticleer’s would win the game by a score of 2-1.
This loss would only motivate the Beavers more to not lose again. And it would work, as they went on to win three games in a row, defeating the Colgate Raiders at 2-1, the Davidson Wildcats at 2-0 and the Pacific Tigers by a score of 4-1.
The Beavers lost their next two games, against the Grand Canyon Lopes at 0-1 and the California Santa Barbara Gauchos at 2-3. But the team still had a solid record heading into conference play with 4 wins and just 3 losses.
To kick off conference play, the Beavers defeated the UCLA Bruins by a score of 2-0 and then the San Diego State Aztecs by a score of 2-1. Oregon State sophomore midfielder Sofiane Djeffal scored for the Beavers in both of those games, giving the Beavers a 2-0 record in conference, and the eight consecutive PAC-12 home match victory.
After the match against California, the match scheduled against the UC Davis Auggies was cancelled due to inclimate weather and the Beavers continued on the road for more conference play.
The road was not necessarily smooth, as the Beavers lost against the California Bears by a score of 1-2, tied against the Stanford Cardinal by a score of 1-1 and then lost against the Washington Huskies by a score of 1-2. The Beavers now had a record of 2-2-1 in conference play, but still remained hopeful for the rest of the season. After all, they still had one more chance at their PAC-12 rivals.
The Beavers picked up wins in their rematch with both the San Diego State Aztecs at 1-0 in overtime and the UCLA Bruins at 3-2, sweeping the series for both schools in both the home and away games.
When the Beavers returned back to Corvallis, they still had rematches left with the Cardinals, the Bears and the Huskies. But those rematches would be just as difficult as their first match ups.
The Beavers tied against the Cardinals again at 0-0, but earned revenge against the Bears with a 1-0 victory with a goal by Oregon State junior forward Raheem Taylor-Parkes seven minutes in the first extra time period at the end of the match. Unfortunately, the Beavers lost their final PAC-12 matchup against the Huskies by a score of 3-1, ending the streak of 9 consecutive PAC-12 victories at home for the Beavers.
In total, the Beavers finished with a record 8-6-2 overall and a 5-3-2 record in conference. They finished third in conference, just three points behind Stanford.
The Beavers proved that one loss does not define how the season will turn out. They simply proved that losses happen, and how you respond to them is more important in defining the season.