Beavers Fall 2-0 To No. 22 Portland In First NCAA Tournament Appearance

Nov. 23, 2002

PORTLAND, Ore. - -

The Oregon State men's soccer team, making its first-ever NCAA College Cup appearance, fell 2-0 to No. 22 Portland on Saturday afternoon in a first round College Cup match at UP's Merlo Field, ending OSU's season and giving the Beavers a final overall record of 13-8-0. OSU's 13 wins were the most in school history.

OSU set an aggressive tone early, as Ross Duncan sent the opening kickoff up the left wing to a streaking Brian Farber, who went one-on-one with a UP defender and had the ball poked away at the last second.

The teams continued to play scoreless soccer for the next 30 minutes, until the Pilots' Nate Jaqua made it 1-0 at 30:02.

Jaqua's score came on a cross by Heath Pearce to the near post, where Jaqua blasted a shotfrom eight yards past OSU keeper Peter Billmeyer.

Just over five minutes later, Pearce made it 2-0 for UP (13-5-1) on a clearing kick that turned into a score. Pearce controlled the ball five yards inside OSU's side of the midfield stripe and played a lofted ball back into OSU's box. The ball took a high hop over Billmeyer's head and bounced into the net for the score.

'We were rewarded all season for our hard work, and today Portland capitalized on our mistakes,' OSU coach Dana Taylor said. 'We worked extremely hard today, but didn't get the result.'

With the game still scoreless, Billmeyer made a diving save of an Alajandro Salazar header early in the first half, deflecting it off the crossbar. A UP player headed the rebound off the far post, and the Beavers prevented the early score.

The Beavers had a golden opportunity in the 63rd minute when Ryan Johnson took a loose ball on the left side of the UP box with an open net. His ensuing shot was cleared by a sliding Pearce to prevent the score.

Joe Zaher gave OSU another chance on a shot that went a foot wide at the near post.

'In a game like today, when it's tight, you've got to finish your opportunities,' Taylor said. 'We didn't finish our opportunities.

'Both teams worked extremely hard today. We missed opportunities, and nobody takes the blame alone. We win and we lose as a team, and that's just the way we've been all season long.'

With three saves Saturday, Billmeyer set the OSU record for career saves after only three seasons; he now has 254.

Portland advances to the second round of the College Cup, and will travel to Stanford for a Wednesday match with the Cardinal.

PORTLAND 2, OREGON STATE 0

Scoring:UP - Nate Jaqua (Heath Pearce), 30:02

UP - Heath Pearce (unassisted), 35:21

Summary: SHOTS: OSU 9, UP 13; CORNERS: OSU 5, UP 7; SAVES: OSU 3, UP 0; FOULS: OSU 16, UP 21

Cautions: UP - Matthew Domingo, 9:52.

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