OSU Battles Cal In Conference Rematch, Hosts Gonzaga This Weekend

Oct. 25, 2000

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

FRIDAY, OCT. 27

Oregon State at California, 2 p.m.

SUNDAY, OCT. 29

Gonzaga at Oregon State, 12 noon

NOTE: Due to construction of the new OSU softball stadium, the entrance to Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium has been changed to the east sideline for the remainder of the season. The most convenient parking is available in the lot located at the southeast corner of Southwest 15th Street and Western Boulevard.

With each victory, the stakes climb higher for the Oregon State men's soccer team as the end of the regular season draws nearer. At 7-7-1 overall, and a with a run for their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in the picture, the Beavers appear to have hit their stride. OSU earned its first conference victory of the season when it knocked off then-No. 17 UCLA on Oct. 22 to move to 1-3-1 in the Pacific-10 after taking No. 6 Stanford to the wire on Oct. 20. With another conference game at California on Friday and a non-conference home match against Gonzaga on Sunday at noon, the Beavers are in position to make a push for postseason play.

'This is probably the most important weekend in the history of our program,' OSU head coach Dana Taylor said.

The Beavers have shown improvement in getting in position to finish plays over the last few games, and look to continue that trend.

'We have put away our opportunities,' Taylor said. 'Finishing is something we've worked on all year, but as of late, it has come down to the fact that guys are getting to the goal. When you put forth the effort to get to the goal, opportunities come your way.

'More than anything, it comes down to the fact that players are getting comfortable with the way we're playing in the midfield,' Taylor said. 'There's been more creativity and space for guys to read the game.'

OSU and California played to a 1-1 tie on Oct. 6 in Corvallis, but since then, OSU has raised its level of play offensively and defensively.

Missed scoring opportunities hurt the Beavers in the previous meeting. After OSU's Aaron McHardy scored a goal in the fifth minute, Cal turned the momentum by scoring 24 seconds later to tie the match.

'We've got to finish our opportunities,' Taylor said. 'Defensively, we've got to be a bit tighter and be stingy, unlike we were against them the first time.'

On Sunday, the Beavers will take on regionally-ranked Gonzaga (8th in Oct. 23 NSCAA poll), whose in-your-face style of play has earned them five straight victories, including wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco.

'They play at Washington on Friday, so that will be a difficult match, then they have to travel down here,' Taylor said.

'Gonzaga likes to mix it up, they're a physical team and they work hard.'

OREGON STATE ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:

Oregon State has a 4-7-1 all-time record against California, including a tie on Oct. 6 when the teams scored a goal each in Corvallis.

OSU's last win came in 1996 when they downed the Bears 2-1 in Berkeley. Cal won in 1999 in Corvallis by a margin of 1-0.

The Beavers hold an 11-4-2 advantage over Gonzaga. The teams split their meetings last year, with the Zags taking the first match 2-0 and OSU claiming the second game 2-1 in Corvallis.

Last year's win broke a string of five winless games against the Zags, who won four and tied one during the span from 1997 to 1999. Prior to 1997, OSU owned the Zags, posting an 11-0-1 record in the teams' first 12 meetings.

JAMES ALBERT: The senior forward is one of three players (Matt Olsen, Ben Roth) with 40-plus career games played at Oregon State... leads the team with 60 career games played... scored a goal on Sept. 22 against UCSB... scored against Stanford in 2-1 loss... recorded assists against Oral Roberts on Sept. 3, UCLA on Oct. 13, UCLA on Oct. 22 in 2-1 win... 18 shots

PETER BILLMEYER: The freshman goalkeeper sports a 1.03 goals-against average in 10 games... has 46 saves, including an eight-save performance against Washington on Oct. 1 and seven against Santa Clara on Sept. 14.

ALEX CLOSE: Fired 12 shots on the year... scored one goal against Oral Roberts on Sept. 3.

ROSS DUNCAN: Scored his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State on Sept. 10.

JOSH ELBAUM: The team co-captain recorded his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State when he curved a corner kick into the net... scored against then-No. 10 Portland in 2-1 win on Sept. 19, Cal-Santa Barbara on Sept. 22, and UCLA on Oct. 22... leads the team with 31 shots and has two assists, which came against Cal-Irvine in 2-1 loss and against UCSB in 4-2 win... tied for team lead with 10 points.

NICK JENSEN: Played in 10 games... four shots.

JUSTIN KIRK: The sophomore forward booted his first goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to Cal-Irvine on Sept. 16... scored again in loss to CS-Northridge on Sept. 24... scored against San Francisco on Oct. 15... had one assist in OSU's 3-0 win at Oral Roberts on Sept. 3... tallied another assist against Cal-Santa Barbara in 4-2 win on Sept. 22, and against UCLA on Oct. 22... has 18 shots on the year... tallied the most points of any returning player last season.

AARON MCHARDY: Recorded a goal in 2-1 win over Tulsa on Sept. 1, Sacramento State on Sept. 10, in 1-1 tie with California, and in 2-1 win over UCLA on Oct. 22.

MARK MULEADY: Has a 1.64 GAA in six games... 25 saves.

KURT NESS: Started every game as a back... two shots.

MATT OLSEN: Tied for team lead with 10 points on four goals and two assists... goals came in wins over Oral Roberts and Portland, with two in a win over Cal-Santa Barbara... recorded assists against Oral Roberts and Portland.

BEN ROTH: The junior has played in 50 career games, starting 47... 47 starts is tops on the squad... has ten shots this year.

JESSE SERVIN: Booted a goal in each of the first two games of his career on Sept. 1 and 3... scored OSU's first goal of the season unassisted against Tulsa and followed that up with a score off a Matt Olsen pass against Oral Roberts two days later... taken 27 shots.

RYAN SMITH: The sophomore midfielder and team co-captain is the only returning player to have started all 17 games last season for the Beavers... scored a goal against UCLA on Oct. 13... recorded an assist against UCLA on Oct. 22... taken 13 shots.

CHRISTIAN vanBLOMMESTEIN: The freshman has started 14 games this year and played solid defense... taken five shots.

CALIFORNIA: Since the Bears 1-1 tie with OSU on Oct. 6, Cal has gone 2-2, including two straight wins. After OSU, Cal lost 7-0 to Washington and 3-0 to Stanford before 1-0 wins over UCLA and St. Mary's.

Kendall Simmonds and Chris Roner lead the Bears with seven points apiece. Both have three goals and an assist.

In goal, Brian Walker has played nine games and carries a 2.60 GAA, while Marco Palmieri has a 1.15 GAA in six games.

GONZAGA: The Zags are 8-4-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the West Coast Conference. The Zags are winners of five in a row, including wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco.

Gonzaga boasts a powerful offensive attack, as three players have double-digit points so far. Jason Kuska has 11 goals and four assists for 26 points, Brian Ching has 15 points, and Abbas Faridnia has 11 points.

BILLMEYER ON TRACK FOR SPOT IN SCHOOL'S G.A.A. ELITE: Freshman goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer is on pace to record the best goals-against average in OSU history. As of Oct. 23, he had a 1.03 GAA, and had played in 10 of OSU's 15 games. Billmeyer stands even with Jon Edmonston's 1991 mark of 1.03.Here's a closer look:GOALS-AGAINST AVERAGE

   Name	                Min.	Gls.	Avg.1. Peter Billmeyer	870	10	1.032. Jon Edmonston (1991)	875	10	1.033. James Brazeau (1989)	1,775	22	1.124. Olin Glenne (1994)	1,185	15	1.14

BILLMEYER VIES FOR SPOT ON SEASON SAVES LIST: Billmeyer is also in the hunt for a spot on the season-saves top-three list. The Omaha, Neb., native has 46 saves in ten games played. Billmeyer needs 14 saves to play his way into third place on the list.

   Name	                Svs.1. Bryan Hill (1999)	952. Bryan Hill (1997)	903. Bryan Hill (1998)	60

OLSEN, ELBAUM HAVE CHANCE FOR GOALS, ASSISTS, POINTS LISTS: Matt Olsen and Josh Elbaum have a shot at adding their names to three lists this season. A spot on the top-10 season goals, assists and total points lists are all within reach. Olsen has played in 14 games this season, and has accumulated four goals and two assists for a total of 10 points, Elbaum has played in every game, accumulating 10 points on four goals and two assists. Here's a look at what he will need to do over the next six games to break into OSU's top-10 in the various catagories:

SCORING   Name	                        Gls.	Asts.	Pts.1. Rick Kempf (1990)	        17	1	352. Jeff Enquest (1989)	        12	4	283. Garin Gregory (1988)	        10	5	254. Sean Young (1990)	         9	6	245. Josh Dodson (1996)	        10	3	236. Sean Young (1991)	        10	1	217. Greg Howes (1999)	         7	6	208. Jason Lensch (1988)	         8	3	19(tie) Rick Kempf (1989)	         7	5	19(tie) Sterling Wismer (1994)	 8	3	19GOALS   Name	                        Gls.1. Rick Kempf (1990)	        172. Jason Lensch (1989)	        143. Jeff Enquest (1989)	        124. Garin Gregory (1988)	        10(tie) Sean Young (1991)	        10(tie) Josh Dodson (1996)	107. Sean Young (1990)	         98. Jason Lensch (1988)	         8(tie) Sterling Wismer (1994)	 810. Rick Kempf (1989)	         7(tie) Rick Kempf (1991)	         7(tie) Sean Young (1992)	         7(tie) Greg Howes (1999)	         7ASSISTS   Name	                        Asts.1. Greg Howes (1998)	         92. Chris Scotti (1992)	         83. Jason Lensch (1990)	         74. Sean Young (1990)	         6(tie) Fredrik Kummernes (1996)	 6(tie) Greg Howes (1999)	         67. Garin Gregory (1988)	         5(tie) Rick Kempf (1989)	         5(tie) Chris Scotti (1991)	 5(tie) Dominick Conti (1995)	 5(tie) Fredrik Kummernes (1995)	 5

LOW TEAM GAA: The Beavers have a 1.25 goals against average through 15 games, the school record is 1.12, held by the 1989 squad.

FEWEST GOALS IN A SEASON: OSU has allowed 19 goals in 15 games. The school record for fewest goals allowed in a season is 21, held by the 1992 group. OSU has four games remaining.

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS: Justin Kirk and James Albert have three assists apiece this season. Two more would put them in a tie for seventh on OSU's season assists list.

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH DANA TAYLOR: Dana Taylor enters his second year at OSU after a 5-12-0 campaign in 1999.

Prior to coming to OSU, Taylor spent four seasons at perennial powerhouse Creighton, where he worked mostly with the goalkeepers. Taylor helped the Bluejays to a 63-17-6 record during his tenure, while the Bluejays captured two Missouri Valley Conference titles.

MATT OLSEN PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR OCT. 1: Olsen was selected as the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week for Sept. 19-Sept. 25 as the Beavers went 2-1 in that span.

Olsen, a senior, had a goal and an assist in OSU's 2-1 upset win over then-No. 10 Portland on Sept. 19, then followed that with a two-goal performance as the Beavers knocked off Cal-Santa Barbara 4-2.

The award was the first of Olsen's career.

OREGON STATE STATISTICS OF INTEREST: The Beavers have outscored their opponents 22-19 this year... OSU has been outshot 211-199... the Beavers have 10 fewer fouls than their opponents, 296-306... OSU has a .452 (90-199) shots-on-goal percentage, while holding opponents to .445 (94-211).

STANFORD 2, OREGON STATE 1: After trailing 1-0 at the half, James Albert tied the game in the 86th minute. Stanford rallied and scored the game-winner a minute later for the final of 2-1.

OREGON STATE 2, UCLA 1: Josh Elbaum scored the winning goal in the 76th minute off an assist by Justin Kirk to lift the Beavers over then-No. 17 UCLA.

Aaron McHardy opened the scoring with a goal off assists by James Albert and Ryan Smith at 2:44.

NATIONALLY RANKED OPPONENTS: In the Oct. 23 NSCAA Top 25 poll, Pac-10 rival Stanford remained at No. 6, and Washington fell to No. 17.

OSU plays 13 games against opponents who went to the NCAA Tournament last year.

OSU ALL-TIME RECORD: The Beavers now have an all-time record of 109-108-14 in overall play since the program's inception in 1988 under coach Jimmy Conway.

In league games, OSU is 30-39-6. Oregon State competed in the Northwest Collegiate Soccer Conference for three years beginning in 1988, and in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation through the 1999 season. The Beavers begin competition in the Pacific-10 Conference this season.

LORENZ FIELD AT VALLEY STADIUM: Oregon State's soccer facility, Paul Lorenz Field at Patrick Wayne Valley Stadium, provides soccer enthusiasts with one of the top places to both play and watch the sport on the West Coast.

The main seating section holds approximately 1,000 and rises above the midfield line on the west sideline, total capacity is 1,500. A press box for media, statistics and film crews is located behind the main seating section.

OSU is 17-19-3 at Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium, which opened for the 1996 season. The stadium is located a block southeast of Reser Stadium, just south of the intersection of 17th Street and Western Boulevard.

OREGON STATE ON TELEVISION: The Beavers' home game against the Washington Huskies on November 5 will be broadcast via tape-delay on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on Fox Northwest.

MEN'S SOCCER TICKETS: All tickets for Oregon State men's soccer games are sold on a general admission basis. They are priced at $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens age 62 and over and students high school age and under. OSU students are admitted free with OSU student identification card.

Local Bi-Mart stores have coupons good for two admissions for the price of one for OSU men's soccer games.

Men's soccer is also part of the OSU Six-Sport Pass, which is good for general admission seating at all home contests in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics and baseball.

Members of the Junior Benny Beaver Club are also admitted free to all women's soccer games with their club membership card. AYSO youth soccer players are admitted free to all men's home soccer games when wearing their team jersey.

OSU SPORTS INFORMATION: More information on Oregon State men's soccer, interview requests, photographs and game credentials can be obtained by calling Travis Lahman in the Oregon State University Sports Information Office at (541) 737-3720. For interviews, please call at least 24 hours in advance. For game credentials, please call early because press box space is limited.

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