No. 15/11 OSU Faces Fresno State, No. 1 UCLA In Matches With Pac-10 Title Implications

Nov. 4, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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Friday, Nov. 7 - No. 15/11 Oregon State (12-4-0 overall, 6-1-0 Pacific-10) at Fresno State (5-10-0, 2-5-0); Fresno, Calif.; 7 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 9 - No. 15/11 Oregon State at No. 1/1 UCLA; Los Angeles, Calif.; 1 p.m.

NOTE: Rankings are National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Soccer America polls

The No. 15/11 (NSCAA/SoccerAmerica) Oregon State men's soccer team (12-4-0 overall, 6-1-0 Pacific-10) travels south to take on Fresno State and UCLA this weekend in matches that have Pac-10 Conference title implications.

The Beavers, winners of their last six matches, square off with Fresno State (5-10-0, 2-5-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, and tangle with defending national champion and top-ranked UCLA (15-1-0, 7-0-0), which has won its last 13 games, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9.

The Bruins sit atop the Pac-10 standings with 21 points, and OSU is second with 18 (teams receive three points for a win and one for a tie).

'Our first task this weekend is to take care of business at Fresno State on Friday,' OSU coach Dana Taylor said. 'They are a dangerous team, especially at home, and we have to come prepared to play mentally and physically. We have yet to win a match at Fresno State.

'Having said that, I expect Sunday's match with UCLA to be an absolute battle as well. Both teams (OSU and UCLA) can score a lot of goals, but both defenses are very physical and pose problems for opposing offenses.

'We're looking forward to the matches this weekend.'

OSU hopes to extend its school-record six-game conference winning streak, and it enters the weekend red-hot offensively and defensively.

The Beavers' average of 2.31 goals scored per game is 10th in the nation and the defense has allowed only 19 goals all year, putting OSU in position to set a new school record for fewest goals allowed in a season. The 1992 squad gave up 21.

Alan Gordon, Ryan Johnson and Ross Duncan all rank among the nation's statistical leaders. Ryan Johnson is second nationally with a 0.81 goals-per-game average with 13 assists in 16 games. Ross Duncan is 16th at 0.63. Both players rank first and second, respectively, on OSU's all-time single-season assist chart.Gordon's 0.69 goals-per-game average is tied for 24th in the nation.

OSU handed Fresno State a 4-0 loss on Oct. 5 in Corvallis, and now has a 2-5-0 all-time record against the Bulldogs.

Chris Murphy's seven points leads a Bulldog offense that has struggled to score this year, finding the back of the net only 13 times while giving up 26 goals.

Eric Kronberg has played all 1,359 minutes in net and has a 1.72 goals-against average.

OSU is still looking for its first win against UCLA since claiming its only two matches of the series in 2000 and 2001; the Beavers fell 2-1 earlier this year in Corvallis on a penalty kick by Adolfo Gregorio in the 71st minute.

In all, UCLA owns a 10-2-0 advantage in the series, including four wins in a row.UCLA has been equally dominant offensively and defensively this year, ranking sixth nationally in scoring offense with a 2.50 goals-per-game average, and is second in GAA (0.38) and shutout percentage (0.75).

Offensively, senior Matt Taylor heads a Bruin attack that has 50 assists on 40 goals with 31 points (13 goals, 5 assists) of his own.

Freshman Chad Barrett is second on the team with 24 points (8 goals, 8 assists), and Adolfo Gregorio (16 points) and Mike Enfield (11 points) are in double figures as well.

Zach Wells owns nine individual shutouts and sports a 0.34 GAA while starting every game and allowing only five goals all year.

Last weekend, the Beavers were dominant in the first half against California on Friday, forging a 3-0 halftime lead on a goal by Johnson and two from current Pac-10 Player of the Week Robbie Findley.

The Beavers fought off 14 second-half shots by the Bears for a 3-1 win.

Stanford forced overtime in Sunday's thriller in frigid temperatures with a score from Abe Geiger in the 84th minute.

OSU built a 2-1 lead when Johnson scored in the 49th minute off a Nick Donaldson pass.

It appeared the Beavers would hang on until Geiger scored point-blank out of a scramble in front of an open net.

Findley capped a standout seven-shot performance with the game-winner in the sixth minute of overtime when Duncan led him up the right side with a long lead pass that put him one-on-one with charging Stanford keeper Andrew Kartunen.

Findley slotted a shot through a narrow window from 18 yards out for the win.

OSU RANKED: Oregon State remained 15th in the NSCAA poll and moved up three spots to 11th in the Soccer America ratings. College Soccer News picked OSU 14th.

Ryan Johnson SECOND IN NCAA: Sophomore forward/midfielder Ryan Johnson (Boston, Mass.) ranks second in the NCAA in assists-per-game with a 0.81 mark; he has 13 assists in 16 games. His three assists against Rhode Island equaled the highest single-game total in the country. Johnson scored his first two goals of the season last weekend - one each against Cal and Stanford.

Peter Billmeyer: Goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer owns the OSU career shutout record with 15, including five this year. Billmeyer, a senior from Omaha, Neb., also holds the school record for career saves with 314, as well as season saves with 100 (2002). His 1.09 goals-against average this year is an all-time personal low; the season record is 1.03, held by Jon Edmonston (1991). Billmeyer was also named to the CollegeSoccerNews Team of the Week (ending Oct. 12) for his two shutouts of Stanford and Cal, marking the second time in his career he has been named to a national team of the week.

FINDLEY ON TEAM OF THE WEEK, NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman forward Robbie Findley became the fourth Beaver to earn a spot on a national team of the week this year when he was selected to the College Soccer News Team of the Week (Nov. 2) after scoring three goals last weekend against California and Stanford. He was also chosen Pac-10 Player of the Week. Findley, from Phoenix, Ariz., scored the game-winner in Sunday's 3-2 overtime win over Stanford at Lorenz Field, and tallied two scores - including the game-winner - in a 3-1 victory over Cal on Friday. He is OSU's second-leading scorer this year with 20 points (9 goals, 2 assists), trailing only Alan Gordon (25 points). Findley's three goals last weekend were the first in over a month following an injury that limited his playing time. Findley joins Gordon (Oct. 19) and Peter Billmeyer (Oct. 12) in the College Soccer News T.O.W. club. Carlos 'Boku' Cornejo was chosen for the Soccer AmericaTeam of the Week (Oct. 12) after he scored both game-winning goals on the road against Stanford and Cal.

JOHNSON OWNS CAREER ASSIST RECORD, ADDS TO SEASON MARK: Sophomore Ryan Johnson set the OSU career assist record after just 31 games and now has 18 assists in his young career. He broke the former mark of 16 held by Chris Scotti (1989-92) and Fredrik Kemmernes (1995-98). With 13 assists this year, Johnson owns the season record as well; he broke the former mark of nine, held by Greg Howes (1998), in just 11 games on Oct. 5 in a 4-0 win over Fresno State. Johnson's shot hit the left post and was immediately scored by Alan Gordon at the 5:38 mark.

FLASH GORDON: Defending Pac-10 scoring leader Alan Gordon has 25 points (11 goals, 3 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 59 points (26 goals, 7 assists) for his career and jumped up to third on OSU's career scoring list, 17 points from owning the record. Gordon's 26 career goals are third on OSU's career list. His 25 points this year are tied for fourth on OSU's all-time season points list, and his 11 goals are fifth. 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. Gordon's 0.69 goals-per-game average is 24th nationally (11 goals in 16 games).

OSU TIES SCHOOL ASSIST RECORD: The Beavers tied the school record they set last year with 39 assists.

HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE: OSU is 10th nationally in scoring offense with a 2.31 goals-per game average. OSU has 37 goals in 16 games.

ROAD WARRIORS: OSU is 6-3-0 away from Lorenz Field this year - one road win away from the record of seven set by the 1991 squad.

WIN STREAKS: The Beavers' six-game Pac-10 winning streak is OSU's longest conference streak ever; it also matches OSU's longest conference unbeaten streak, set in 1990. The Beavers currently are on a four-game road win streak, two shy of the school record set in 1989.

DUNCAN CLIMBS ASSIST CHARTS: Ross Duncan, a senior from Corvallis, is fifth on OSU's all-time assist chart with 14 for his career. His career-high 10 assists this year are the second-best total in a season at OSU. He is tied for 16th nationally with a 0.63 assist-per game average.

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 20 points (9 goals, 2 assists) after three goals last weekend.

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.

START YOUR ENGINES: Seniors Christian vanBlommestein and Peter Billmeyer have starting streaks going. vanBlommestein, a defender, has started all 69 career matches in which he has played and scored his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State. Billmeyer has started 55 straight games in goal, and 66 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 139-136-14 in overall play since the program's inception in 1988 under coach Jimmy Conway.

Following a 3-1 win over Washington on Oct. 19, 2003, the Beavers' all-time record climbed back above .500 (137-136-14) for the first time since Sept. 19, 1999, when OSU was 104-103-13. The Beavers lost their next match to Loyola Marymount 2-0 that year.

OSU pushed its record back to 106-106-13 with a 2-1 win against Gonzaga on Oct. 10, 1999, but lost its next five games and didn't regain its winning record until beating No. 7 Washington on Oct. 19, 2003.

In league games, OSU is 38-56-6 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 in 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 42-47-1 overall record, and is 13-26-1 in conference play.

While at OSU, Taylor's teams have done well in the classroom, often 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 35-28-3 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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