Newcomers Lead OSU To 4-2 Victory Over Air Force

Sept. 6, 2002

SPOKANE, Wash. - -

Newcomers Alan Gordon and Joe Zaher scored the first two goals of their careers Friday afternoon, leading the Oregon State men's soccer squad to a 4-2 win over Air Force at the Gonzaga/Nike Soccer Classic.

The Beavers built a 2-0 cushion by the 21st minute on the strength of two scores from Gordon, a transfer from Yavapai Junior College. Zaher, a freshman from Las Vegas, Nev., assisted on the first score, with fellow freshman Ryan Johnson setting up Gordon's second tally.

In all, OSU newcomers accounted for 10 of OSU's 12 statistical points on the day, with four goals and two assists. Zaher led the way with five points on two goals and one assist.

'Hats off to the newcomers today,' OSU coach Dana Taylor said. 'I'm extremely excited about the performance of Gordon and Zaher, as well as the rest of the freshmen.'

The Beavers were forced to play a man down for the final 50 minutes after Johnson was issued a red card at 41:09.

'We were in control after the 20-minute mark with a 2-0 lead, and then Ryan Johnson got his red card,' Taylor said. 'We got out of the first half okay, but in the second half, we were under a lot of pressure - we were just getting hammered.

'I was unhappy with Ryan Johnson getting thrown out,' Taylor said. 'It showed some immaturity under stress, and it also turned the momentum in Air Force's favor.

'Air Force has been running all summer as part of their training at the academy to begin with, and then you go a man down against a very fit, hard team, and it's very difficult.'

For the mostpart, OSU withstood numerous shots, and countered twice for scores in the second half despite playing with only 10 players.

Aaron McHardy set up Joe Zaher's first goal, leading Zaher with a pass that set up a counter-attack and resulted in a 3-0 OSU lead at the 60:16 mark.

Eventually, though, the man advantage helped the Falcons close the gap.

AFA's Thomas Clark retaliated eight minutes after Zaher's score off an assist from Casey Chronister, making it 3-1.

The Falcons drew within a goal in the 74th minute at 3-2, when Daniel Wasson put a shot past OSU keeper Peter Billmeyer.

'We scored a goal against the run of play with McHardy's pass to Zaher, but then they came back and just pounded shots at us.

'Our defense, midfield, and Peter, in goal, played exceptionally well today,' Taylor said. 'I'm also extremely pleased that we took care of business in the attacking half today.'

OSU was outshot 22-13, with the majority of the Air Force attack coming in the second half with a man advantage.

The pressure resulted in Billmeyer making nine saves on the day; the junior is second on OSU's career list with 169.

Billmeyer also recorded his first career assist Friday when he booted a drop-kick into AFA's third, setting up Zaher's second goal with four seconds remaining.

On Sunday, Oregon State takes on a Wisconsin squad that topped Gonzaga 2-0 in the first game of the tournament.

OREGON STATE 4, AIR FORCE 2

Oregon State 2 2 - 4

Air Force 0 2 - 2

Scoring:

OSU - Alan Gordon (Ryan Johnson), 9:43

OSU - Alan Gordon (Joe Zaher), 20:09

OSU - Joe Zaher (Aaron McHardy), 60:16

AFA - Thomas Clark (Casey Chronister), 68:28

AFA - Daniel Wasson (unassisted), 73:43

OSU - Joe Zaher (Peter Billmeyer), 89:56

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