Oregon State Heads To The Desert To Face Arizona, ASU

Oct. 28, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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Friday, Oct. 31 - Oregon State (6-8-2 overall, 2-2-1 Pacific-10) at Arizona(5-8-2, 1-3-1); 7 p.m.; Tucson, Ariz.

Sunday, Nov. 2 - Oregon State at Arizona State (8-4-3, 2-2-1); 1 p.m.;Tempe, Ariz.

After splitting with the Bay Area schools last weekend, the Oregon State women's soccer team goes on the road to face Arizona (5-8-2 overall, 1-3-1 Pacific-10) and Arizona State (8-4-3, 2-2-1) in search of its third and fourth wins in the Pac-10.

The Beavers square off with the Wildcats at 7 p.m. in Tucson on Friday and then travel to Tempe to battle ASU at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

OSU topped Stanford for the first time in program history Sunday by a count of 1-0 to bump its record to 6-8-2 (2-2-1) following a 3-2 loss to California on Friday.

OSU owns a 4-3-1 overall advantage in the series with Arizona since the teams' first meeting in 1995, claiming a 5-0 win last year in Corvallis. The two games prior to that went to double overtime.

The Wildcats have fallen on hard times of late, posting a record of 1-5-2 in their last eight games after a 4-3 start.

Mallory Miller and Candice Wilks each have 14 points to pace Arizona, and goalkeeper Natalie Juarez sports a 1.59 goals-against average and a 4-5-0 record.

The Sun Devils have struggled in Pac-10 play after opening 2-0; ASU is 0-2-1 in its last three games with losses to No. 3 UCLA (4-1) and then-No. 19 USC (3-1) last weekend.

Scoring has not been a problem for ASU; the Sun Devils have rung up 30 goals while holding opponents to 18.

Brittany Cooper's 18 points leads a trio of Sun Devils in double-figure scoring; Courtney Crane has 14 and Elizabeth Bogus 11.

Goalkeeper Kelly Fitzgerald has 950 minutes in 14 games and has a 0.85 GAA with 42 saves.

An interesting note: ASU starting senior midfielder Haley vanBlommestein is the twin sister of OSU men's soccer player Christian vanBlommestein.

The Beavers will be seeking their first win over ASU on Sunday; the Sun Devils have won all six games in the series since the teams first played in 1997.

Against Stanford on Sunday, OSU's Janelle Joy's fourth goal of the year off a Tessa Baker pass in the 71st minute gave the Beavers the 1-0 win.

OSU goalkeeper Amy Johnson made her first career start in Sunday's win after replacing Melissa Onstad at halftime of Friday's match and shutting out California over the final 45 minutes. Johnson was credited with eight saves against Stanford and earned her first shutout.

The Beavers fell behind 3-0 in the first half against Cal, but bounced back with two late scores - one by Baker and one by Brianna Monka - in the second half to close the final margin to 3-2.

'Our kids have learned from their experiences all season long, and I think Sunday was a great example of that,' OSU coach Steve Fennah said. 'We told them after the Cal game that they need to come prepared to play from start to finish. I think they took that to heart and came out with a solid performance across the board against Stanford and we got the result.

'This weekend will be a good test for us - it's always a challenge when you play on the road in the Pac-10. Both Arizona and Arizona State are having fine years. Arizona beat USC, which was nationally ranked, on Friday.'

Baker continued her impressive offensive display this year over the weekend for the Beavers, notching a goal and assist. Baker now has 21 points (9 goals, 3 assists) on the year - the most scored by a Beaver since Jenna Leavitt tallied 24 in 1994.

Baker's 21 points are the eighth-highest season total in OSU history and are the second-most in the Pac-10.

'Tessa has shown the ability to finish opportunities this year,' Fennah said. 'She can create them on her own and has been very opportunistic as well.

'Having said that, our passing has been particularly dangerous, especially with the problems Stacey Mescher creates out wide along with Lindsey Beem in the midfield.'

Oregon State has outscored its opponents 24-22, despite being outshot 269-188. OSU has shut out five opponents and allowed more than two goals only twice.

BEEM ME UP: Junior Lindsey Beem is now tied for fifth on the school's all-time assist list with 14 for her career. She had five in each of her first two seasons and has four this year. She has 11 career goals to boot to place her 11th on the career scoring list with 36 points.

QUICK SHOT: OSU has taken a Pac-10-low 188 shots but is fourth in the conference in goals, with 24 (1.5 per game).

CONSISTENT THREAT: Sophomore forward Tessa Baker has moved into eighth place on OSU's single-season points list with 21 (9 goals, 3 assists). Baker's 21 points are the most by a Beaver since Jenna Leavitt tallied 24 in 1994. Her nine goals equal the sixth-best season total. Baker is close to breaking into the career points and goals lists - she is nine points from the top-10 points list and two scores shy of the top-10 goals list.

AMONG PAC-10 LEADERS: Tessa Baker is tied for second in the Pac-10 with 21 points and is second in goals scored with nine. Lindsey Beem is tied for fifth with four assists. Melissa Onstad leads the Pac-10 with 86 saves by a 22-save margin. As a team, the Beavers lead the league with 96 saves; Amy Johnson has 10.

NEWCOMERS: All 11 newcomers have seen action thus far, including Melissa Onstad (goal), Alison Vislay (defense), Jen Crump (defense), Kelli Washburn (defense), Sara LaFleur (midfield), Stephanie Padilla (defense), Lauren Wippel (defense), Amy Johnson (goal), Tiara Hong (defense), Catherine Betts (forward) and Shelly Wallace (defense).

NON-CONFERENCE NUMBERS: Oregon State has compiled a 38-23-6 record against non-conference opponents since Steve Fennah became head coach in 1998.

FENNAH FACTS: Now in his sixth year, Steve Fennah, 36, has guided the Beavers to their first back-to-back seasons (2001-02) with winning percentages of .500 or better since the 1994-95 campaigns. In 2001, Fennah's squad recorded its best season since 1995 with a 10-8-2 record and a near-qualification for the NCAA Tournament.

Fennah's squads have become known for offensive firepower, recording four games of four goals or more in 2002. They have also become known for stingy defense; the team posted six shutouts in 2002, which was the highest total in eight seasons. Multiple OSU individuals appeared among the Pacific-10 Conference statistical leaders.

After the strong campaign of 2001, the program's resurgence put OSU on the national soccer scene once again while playing in what is often regarded as the toughest soccer conference in the country - the Pac-10. The turnaround prompted SoccerBuzz to rate the Beavers' 2001 season among the top 20 turnarounds of any team in the country with a 4 1/2-game improvement from the prior year.

The Beavers have been a smash in the classroom, as well. A total of 34 women's soccer student-athletes have earned Pac-10 All-Academic recognition in Fennah's first five seasons - an average of nearly seven selections per year.

Fennah's overall record at OSU is 44-60-10, and 8-38-4 in the Pacific-10.

Fennah spent five years coaching at Jesuit High in Beaverton, Ore., where he guided the Crusaders to four straight Oregon Class 4A state titles in his final four seasons at the school. He led the Crusaders to an 84-2-6 record and top-eight national rankings in each of his five seasons.

PAUL LORENZ FIELD AT PATRICK WAYNE VALLEY STADIUM: Oregon State's soccer facility, Paul Lorenz Field at Patrick Wayne Valley Stadium, provides soccer enthusiasts with one of the top places to both play and watch the sport on the West Coast. The main seating section holds approximately 1,000 spectators 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 32-39-2 at Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium, which opened for the 1996 season, and is 3-2 this year. The Beavers finished the 2002 regular season with a 7-4-0 record at home, and are 17-11-0 in the last two-plus years, dating back to the 2001 season. The stadium is located a block southeast of Reser Stadium, just south of the intersection of 17th Street and Western Boulevard.

TICKET INFORMATION: Admission is free for all OSU men's and women's home soccer games this year.

SPORTS INFORMATION: More information on Oregon State women'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 because press box space is limited.

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