He scored from close range on a header off a Strickler assist in the 54th minute to give Tech a 1-0 lead.
“I knew that I really couldn’t get it on frame if I tried to head it, so I was like, ‘Hey, Labo’s right in the middle, let’s knock it back to him,â” Strickler said. “He had a great finesse header.”
Oregon State’s Tyrone Mondi tied the game when he scored from close range with 3:43 left in regulation, putting the ball over the shoulder of Tech sophomore goalkeeper Matt Zambetti.
“It’s definitely deflating in the moment, but we stick together as a team,” Zambetti said. “Our team chemistry I’d say is one of the best â¦ in the NCAA, so we were able to regroup.”
The Beavers entered the game ranked third in Division I with 33 goals but managed just one. Zambetti had six saves in his NCAA tournament debut.
“I love these types of games,” Zambetti said.
Unlike Oregon State, the Hokies had both a fall and spring season.
“We had a long COVID break,” Labovitz said. “Our strength coach, Ron Dickson, kept us fit throughout the three months we weren’t playing.”
Tech went 3-2-2 last fall. But Tech sophomore Daniel Pereira turned pro and signed a Generation Adidas contract with Major League Soccer in December, making him eligible for the MLS draft as an underclassman. The Northside High School graduate was chosen by Austin FC with the No. 1 overall pick in January.