Men's Soccer Gets The Ball Rolling With Preseason Matches at Gonzaga and Portland

Aug. 21, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

COMING UP: Oregon State kicks off its 2001 campaign with preseason road contests against long-time Northwest rivals Gonzaga on Aug. 24 and Portland on Aug. 26.

The Beavers downed the Pilots last season by a count of 2-1 to protect their home turf in the state of Oregon, but fell to Gonzaga in a late-season matchup. The 18-game series between the Beavs and Zags is the longest series in OSU history, followed by OSU's 15-game series with Washington.

Josh Elbaum and Matt Olsen combined to give OSU its two goals last year against Portland, as the Beavers scored twice in the second half after falling behind at the 52-minute mark on a Ryan McNiel goal.

OSU took a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Zags on Oct. 29 last year.

The Beavers' 18-game regular season slate gets underway on Sept. 1, when OSU heads to Iowa for a matchup with Drake followed by a Sept. 2 tilt with Creighton.

OSU's next two matches against Santa Clara and San Francisco, before coming home for a Sept. 16 contest against UC Santa Barbara.

ON THE LOOKOUT: Entering the 2001 season, several Beavers have a chance to set records or move up on OSU's various all-time lists.

Ben Roth, one of two OSU seniors, needs to play in 14 games to set the school record for games played. Currently, Roth has 54 games to his credit, 50 of which have been starts. The current record of 67 is held by Fredrik Kummernes, who donned the Orange and Black from 1995-98.

Justin Kirk, a junior midfielder, should move on to the all-time top-10 career assists list, as he has six assists coming into the season and needs one to move into a tie for 10th.

The all-time mark is 16, held by both Kummernes and Chris Scotti.

Kirk also has a good chance to move into third place on OSU's all-time points list by the time he finishes his career at OSU. The junior has racked up 22 points in his first two seasons, and needs 31 points to surpass Kummernes' 52. Kirk's eight career goals leave him four shy of 10th place all-time.

Peter Billmeyer's 57 saves left him three shy of a tie for third place on the season saves list - a spot occupied by Bryan Hill, who totaled 60 saves in 1998. Billmeyer, a freshman, could pass Colin McMillan this season for third on the career saves list. McMillan had 96 saves.

With five shutouts this year, Billmeyer would join James Brazeau and Olin Glenn in third on the season shutouts list. The record is seven, set by James Bain in 1990.

Ryan Smith has a streak of 33 consecutive starts for the Beavs. The junior has started every game he has played for the Beavers in his defensive midfield position.

Even more impressive is the fact that these streaks and potential records are being accomplished in the Pacific-10 Conference, which has the reputation as the toughest soccer conference in the nation.

EIGHT IS ENOUGH: Eight Beavers earned All-Pac-10 recognition after the 2000 campaign, six of which return this season. The total marked the most all-conference players in school history.

Graduated senior Matt Olsen and Josh Elbaum earned second-team all-conference, while Peter Billmeyer (goal), Stephen Hensor (midfield), Justin Kirk (midfield), Jesse Servin (forward), Ryan Smith (midfield), and Christian vanBlommestein (defense) all earned honorable mention. The latter six return this season.

OSU PICKED FOURTH: The Beavers were picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 this season in the recent Pac-10 coaches poll. OSU was fifth last year, but received eight points this year to edge out California's seven.

Washington, last year's conference champion, was tabbed to defend its crown again this year. UCLA was picked second and Stanford third. Ironically, Stanford (No. 6) is ranked ahead of both Washington (12th) and UCLA (24th) sixth in the preseason NSCAA poll.

ROUGH RIDE: OSU faces another top-notch slate of opponents in 2001. The Beavers will see No. 2 Creighton (NSCAA preseason poll) in their second game of the season along with two conference matches against No. 6 Stanford, No. 12 Washington, and No. 24 UCLA.

OSU ALL-TIME RECORD: The Beavers now have an all-time record of 109-112-14 in overall play since the program's inception in 1988 under coach Jimmy Conway.

In league games, OSU is 30-42-6. 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 began competition in the Pacific-10 Conference in 2000.

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH DANA TAYLOR: Dana Taylor guided the Beavers to a 7-11-1 record overall and 1-6-1 in Pac-10 play in his second year at the helm of the OSU program as the Pac-10 began men's soccer play last year. Among the wins were triumphs over in-state rival Portland on Sept. 19, which was ranked No. 10 at the time (NSCAA poll), and Pac-10 rival UCLA (then No. 17) on Oct. 22. The Beavers went 5-12-0 in Taylor's first year.

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.

YOUNG GUNS: The Beavers bring nine freshmen into the mix this year, along with nine sophomores, six juniors and only two seniors.

Of the nine sophomores, eight saw significant action last season as freshman. The remaining sophomore, transfer Nick Donaldson, was a member of Indiana's national championship squad last season.

OSU/DIADORA CLASSIC: Oregon State will host the OSU/Diadora Classic for two weekends this season. The third annual tournament features Gonzaga, San Diego State, Sacramento State and Oregon State, with two games on Sept. 21 and two on Sept. 23.

Cal State Northridge, Gonzaga, and Valparaiso come to town for Sept. 28 and Sept. 30 matches.

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 on the West Coast to both play and watch the sport.

The facility was touted by head coach Dana Taylor, who has seen many of the nation's best soccer facilities, as '... one of the best soccer-specific stadiums in the western United States. It's a state-of-the-art facility with good sightlines and it's easy for us to accomodate radio or television broadcasts.'

The main seating section holds approximately 1,000 fans 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 17-21-3 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.

The Beavers went 4-4-1 at home last season, including wins over nationally ranked Portland (then No. 10) and UCLA (then No. 17).

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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