ARCATA, Calif. - Portland began their regular season slate on the road in Northern California this past weekend, coming away with a split after beating Humboldt State, 20-5, before bowing to UC Davis, 14-9. The Pilots were able to take some good and some bad back to the Northwest as they prepare for a rematch of the 2015 PNCLL Championship game against Western Washington.
On Friday night, the Pilots started off strong with an impressive showing against Humboldt State. Portland scored in bunches, led by junior attackman Madison Pihl’s 12 points (5g, 7a). Junior midfielder Savon Sengsavanh recorded his first career hat trick and sophomore attackman Bailey Bezich chipped in with seven points (5g, 2a). The defense, led by senior Kyle Michael, made it tough for the Hogs to keep up. Sophomore goalkeeper Steven Olvera finished the night with seven saves and a 63.6 save percentage.
Portland coach Jake Schuit was pleased with the performance.
“The guys put together a strong effort against Humboldt State, a team that always brings physicality and plays with great emotion," he said. "It was nice to experience the high-energy environment that comes with playing under the lights in the Redwood Bowl and we were happy to come away with the victory.”
Saturday afternoon, back at the Redwood Bowl, Portland faced UC Davis, which moved from Division I to the Division II ranks for the 2016 season. The Pilots got their first taste of adversity as they went down 6-1 in the first quarter. Portland managed to chip away at the deficit over the final three quarters, but were unable to create momentum and overcome their early woes, eventually losing, 14-9.
Sophomores Ricky Adams (2g, 1a) and Bezich (2g, 1a) led the way offensively with three points apiece, while junior Collin Lashway (2g) and sophomore Andrew Joyce (1g, 1a) each added a pair.
“UC Davis is a strong team and will certainly fare well in Division II this season,” Schuit said. “Both games were great opportunities to see where we're at as a unit and identify the areas for improvement as we continue on into the season.”
Portland host Western Washington at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 on-campus at Pru Pitch.