Beavers Open Pac-10 Season This Weekend

Sept. 30, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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Friday, Oct. 3 - No. 2 UCLA (6-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pacific-10) at Oregon State (6-3-0, 0-0-0 overall), 3 p.m.; Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.

Sunday, Oct. 5 - Fresno State (3-5-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) at OSU, 1 p.m.; Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.

A LOOK AT UCLA: After winning the national championship in 2002, UCLA is off to a 6-1 start in its quest to repeat. The Bruins have allowed just three goals in seven games and have outscored Virginia, Cal State-Fullerton, Portland and Loyola Marymount by a combined 13-0 in their last four games. UCLA's only loss was to No. 1 Maryland, 1-0 on Sept. 5. UCLA has done the majority of its scoring in the second half, notching 16 of its 19 goals in the last 45 minutes. The Bruins have outshot opponents 106-67. Chad Barrett and Mike Taylor are among the Pac-10 scoring leaders with 17 and 14 points, respectively; Barrett has seven assists along with five goals. Zach Wells sports a 0.30 goals-against average in 605 minutes of action.

OSU HISTORY WITH UCLA: The Bruins own a 9-2-0 advantage in the series that dates back to 1993. OSU's wins came in 2000 and 2001 when UCLA was nationally-ranked. OSU won 2-1 in the teams' second matchup in 2000 and 1-0 in the first meeting of 2001; both games were in Corvallis. UCLA has shut out OSU each of the last three meetings, but was peppered with 25 shots in a 3-0 win in Corvallis last year. OSU forced Bruin keeper Zach Wells to make a Pac-10-high 11 saves in that contest.

A LOOK AT FRESNO STATE: The Bulldogs enter the weekend having won three of their last four games after an 0-4 start. Fresno State defeated Gonzaga 2-1, Alabama A&M 2-0 and San Francisco 3-2. Eric Kronberg has played every minute in goal, totaling a 1.48 GAA while making 43 saves. Chris Murphy is FSU's leading scorer with seven points (3 goals, 1 assist).

OSU HISTORY WITH FRESNO STATE: OSU is 1-5-0 in the series that dates back to 1992. OSU won for the first time by a score of 5-1 in Corvallis last year, but dropped a 1-0 decision in Fresno five days later.

LAST ACTION: OSU lost the first of a three-game road swing through New England to Boston University 2-1, but rebounded with a 4-3 double-overtime win against Rhode Island and followed with a 3-1 win over Holy Cross.

OSU outshot Boston University 18-4, but two key first-half mistakes proved costly as BU took a 2-0 lead to halftime. Robbie Findley's penalty kick in the 83rd minute made it 2-1.

A day later, Alan Gordon's second goal in the 105th minute gave OSU a 4-3 win over Rhode Island. OSU owned the lead four times, but Rhode Island scored an equalizer three times, the third of which came in the 86th minute, just 13 seconds after Brian Farber gave OSU a 3-2 lead. Ryan Johnson equaled a school record with three assists.

Gordon scored all three goals against Holy Cross, recording his second career hat trick to total five goals in his last two games. Johnson added two more assists to up his total to nine for the year, matching the OSU single-season record.

JOHNSON, GORDON AMONG NCAA LEADERS: Ryan Johnson's nine assists ranks first in the NCAA in total number of assists, and his 1.00 assist-per-game average is tied for third. His three assists against Rhode Island equaled the highest single-game total in the country.

Alan Gordon is tied for 23rd nationally in goals per game with a 0.78 mark. The senior has seven goals and two assists for 16 total points in nine games.

HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE: OSU's 2.22 goals-per-game average equals the 27th-best mark in the country. The Beavers have 20 goals in nine games.

REGIONALLY RANKED: Oregon State is ranked seventh in the Sept. 29 National Soccer Coaches Association of America far west regional poll, one spot ahead of Stanford.

HERE, LET ME HELP YOU: In just nine games this year, sophomore Ryan Johnson has tallied nine assists, tying the OSU single-season record held by Greg Howes. Johnson has five assists in his last two games. In 27 career games, he has 14 assists to rank fourth in that category.

FINDING FINDLEY: Robbie Findley, a freshman from Phoenix, Ariz. (Shadow Mountain HS), is off to a blazing start at OSU. He's second on the team with 13 points (6 goals, 1 assist).

Athleticism runs in Findley's family. Cousin Mike Bibby plays for the NBA's Sacramento Kings, cousin Shaun McDonald plays for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL, and another cousin, Ryan Walcott, plays on the UCLA Bruins basketball squad.

FLASH GORDON: Defending Pac-10 scoring leader Alan Gordon has five goals in the last two games, including a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Holy Cross. He now has 16 points (7 goals, 2 assists) to lead OSU this year. Entering the 2003 season, Gordon was 42 points from owning the OSU all-time scoring record - a duanting number of points to record in one year, but a realistic possibility considering Gordon's first year as a Beaver in which he recorded 34 points on 15 goals and four assists. Gordon now has 50 points (22 goals, 6 assists) for his career and jumped up to fifth on OSU's career scoring list. He's tied with Aaron McHardy for third in goals scored. His 34 points and 15 goals last year ranked second on those respective OSU season lists. Gordon was a junior college All-American at Yavapai J.C. prior to transferring to OSU before the 2002 season. Sean Young is OSU's all-time scoring leader with 75 points (32 goals, 11 assists). He played from 1989-92.

MR. SHUTOUT: With a 2-0 shutout of St. Mary's on Sept. 7, Peter Billmeyer tied the OSU record with his 12th career shutout. He had two as a freshman and sophomore and six last year; he's posted two shutouts thus far in 2003. Billmeyer, a senior from Omaha, Neb., also holds the school record for career saves with 281, as well as season saves with 100 (2002). Billmeyer has played all but 51 minutes, 10 seconds in goal over the last 2 1/2 years.

UNSELFISH PLAY: OSU has totaled 21 assists on 20 goals through six games. Last year, the Beavers set a school record with 39 assists.

START YOUR ENGINES: Seniors Christian vanBlommestein and Peter Billmeyer have starting streaks going. vanBlommestein, a defender, has started all 62 career matches in which he has played and scored his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State. Billmeyer has started 48 straight games in goal, and 59 in his career.

NEWCOMERS: Nine newcomers have seen action thus far, including transfers Evan McNeley (jr., mid./def.), Jake Bachman (so., forward) and Chris Ritter (jr., defense), and freshmen Carlos Cornejo (midfield), Robbie Findley (forward), Matthew Fitchett (goal), Bryan Jordan (midfield), Josh Pulido (defense) and Nathan Quan (midfield).

OSU'S ALL-TIME RECORD: The Beavers now have an all-time record of 133-135-14 in overall play since the program's inception in 1988 under coach Jimmy Conway.

In league games, OSU is 35-55-6 and is 98-80-8 in non-conference play. Oregon State competed in the Northwest Colleges 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 when the conference began sponsoring men's soccer play.

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH Dana Taylor: Dana Taylor has instilled an unprecedented level of excitement in Oregon State men's soccer as he begins his fifth season at the helm of the Beaver program.

En route to earning the Pacific-10 Conference co-Coach of the Year honor in his fourth season, Taylor led OSU to a record-setting campaign in 2002, guiding the Beavers to a school-best 13 wins and their first-ever NCAA College Cup appearance.

Over the course of the year, the Beavers broke OSU records or made new entries on the school's all-time lists 35 times. Taylor's squad also knocked off three teams that were ranked at one point in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll during the season, including No. 6 California on the final day of the regular season to clinch a postseason berth.

Taylor owns a 36-46-1 overall record, and is 7-25-1 in conference play.

While at OSU, Taylor's teams have done well in the classroom, regularly posting grade-point averages of 3.0 or better.

In his first four years at Oregon State, Taylor has coached 14 All-Pac-10 athletes, five all-region players, and two All-Americans. While at OSU and during his tenure as an assistant at Creighton, 12 of Taylor's players have gone on to professional careers.

Prior to coming to OSU, Taylor was an assistant coach at Creighton for four seasons, helping the Bluejays to a 63-17-6 record, two Missouri Valley Conference titles, and a Final Four appearance in 1996.

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 31-27-3 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.

MEN'S SOCCER 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) 737-8588. For interviews, please call at least 24 hours in advance. For game credentials, please call early, as press box space is limited. Information is also available on the web at www.osubeavers.com.

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