Beavs Topple No. 6 California, 3-0

Nov. 17, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

Aaron McHardy's two goals led the Oregon State men's soccer team to a 3-0 win over No. 6 California on Sunday at Lorenz Field and helped give the Beavers their school-record 13th win of the season, improving their mark to 13-7-0 overall and 4-6-0 in Pacific-10 play.

With the regular season concluded, OSU will discover its postseason fate at 1:30 p.m. on Monday when the NCAA announces its tournament selections on ESPNNews, which can be found on DirecTV channel 207 and Dish Network channel 142.

'This was the greatest win OSU has ever had,' head coach Dana Taylor said. 'With regards to the importance of the game, the team we played, getting our (team record) 13th win of the year - without a doubt, this is the greatest win in OSU history. It was energy, it was work rate, it was having our backs against the wall.'

McHardy gave the Beavers a quick 1-0 advantage in the ninth minute when he controlled a long pass from Christian vanBlommestein and took it up the right wing, beating a defender and sending a low-angle shot across the net. The ball glanced off Cal keeper Josh Saunders' hand and into the far corner.

'Aaron came through big-time today,' Taylor said. 'He has always been an important piece of the puzzle at OSU, and he came through like he did last year,' Taylor said of the senior's 23-point output a year ago.

The Beavers packed in their defense in the second half, and were forced to play a man down for the final 33 minutes after midfielder Nick Donaldson was sent off the field following his second yellow card of the day. OSU also played without the services of Pac-10 scoring leader Alan Gordon.

OSU capitalized on its opportunities though, and McHardy converted a penalty kick after being tackled from behind in the box to make it 2-0 at the 80:08 mark.

Three minutes later, Joe Zaher scored his 10th goal of the year when he gained control of a loose ball in the middle of the field, split two defenders, and sent a shot past Saunders into the left corner of the net for the final of 3-0.

'This is a team learning to come through games like that and be on an even keel,' Taylor said. 'They don't go through the highs and lows as much, and they keep composed.

'It's no longer a matter of coming of age. A game like today proves that they've become a seasoned team and can face anything that comes their way.

'An example of that was us putting the ball in the back of the net without our leading scorer and playing a man down. We battled through the season after the death of a teammate this fall, and came back after losing 4-1 on Friday,' Taylor said in reference to the loss of Stephen Hensor and a Friday's match with Stanford.

Coming into the game, Cal had given up just 12 goals in 19 games, an average of 0.63 goals per contest. OSU's three goals were the most scored on the Bears since Cal State-Northridge beat Cal 3-0 in the first game of the year on Aug. 30.

OSU withstood 19 shots from Cal on the day, but made the most of its own eight shots to avenge a 5-0 loss at Cal on Oct. 11 this year.

'The boys have given themselves a reason to be excited for tomorrow's NCAA selection show. Hopefully, the selection committee sees it the same way,' Taylor said.

Peter Billmeyer and the Beaver defense recorded their sixth shutout of the year on Friday. With six shutouts this year, Billmeyer is now tied for second on OSU's season list; his 10 career shutouts are also the second-best mark. OSU's six shutouts are the most since six in 1998; the school record of seven was set in 1990.

With his two goals Friday, McHardy now has sole possession of third place on OSU's career scoring list with 53 points on 22 goals and nine assists.

For California, Mike Munoz led the attack with five shots overall, and Carl Acosta put three of his four on goal.

The Bears had two near-scores while trailing 1-0 in the second half, with one shot from point-blank range blocked and another dribbling just wide.

The blanking is the first by an OSU team in Pac-10 play since a 1-0 shutout of UCLA on Oct. 21, 2001. It was also the first time OSU beat Cal since 1996.

OREGON STATE 3, NO. 6 CALIFORNIA 0

California 0 0 - 0

Oregon State 1 2 - 3

Scoring:

OSU - Aaron McHardy (Christian vanBlommestein), 8:26.

OSU - Aaron McHardy (penalty kick), 80:08.

OSU - Joe Zaher (unassisted), 83:15.

Summary: SHOTS: CAL 19, OSU 8; CORNERS: CAL 1, OSU 7; SAVES: CAL 1, OSU 6; FOULS: CAL 11, OSU17.

Cautions: OSU - Nick Donaldson (21:15); OSU - Daniel Smith (40:06); Cal - Tyson Wahl (48:40);OSU - Nick Donaldson, ejected (57:11); Cal - Noah Merl (57:30).

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