Beavers Seeking First College Cup Win In Biggest Game Ever At Lorenz Field

Nov. 18, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

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Saturday, Nov. 22 - Portland (9-8-1 overall, 3-2-1 West Coast Conference) at NR/18 Oregon State (13-6-0, 7-3-0 Pacific-10); 12 noon; Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium; Corvallis, Ore.

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

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for Oregon State's NCAA Men's College Cup soccer match against Portland at Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium in Corvallis on Saturday, Nov. 22 will be available the day of the game at the stadium beginning at 10 a.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the opening kick is at 12 noon. Prices are $3 for OSU students with a valid OSU ID card and seniors (age 60 and over) and $5 for all others. All spectators are required to have a ticket, including those age two and under.

BEAVERS SEEKING FIRST TOURNAMENT WIN IN BIGGEST GAME EVER AT LORENZ FIELD: OSU hopes to earn its first NCAA College Cup victory this Saturday when it hosts an NCAA College Cup game for the first time at Lorenz Field, where the Beavers are 6-1 this year and 13-3 in the last two seasons.

THERE'S SOME HISTORY HERE: OSU and Portland have developed a stirring in-state rivalry over the past few years, with each team claiming two victories in the last four meetings. OSU hopes to earn its first NCAA College Cup victory Saturday as Portland spoiled OSU's postseason debut last year 2-0 in Portland in a NCAA first round game. Nate Jaqua and Heath Pearce each scored first half goals in Portland's win. The Pilots claimed a win this year at Merlo Field on Sept. 7 by the same score, but prior to that, OSU owned a two-game winning streak in the series. OSU won a regular-season matchup in 2002 with a last-minute goal by Joe Zaher, giving the Beavers a 2-1 edge in Corvallis. The Beavers were victorious in 2000 by a 2-1 margin as well; the teams did not meet in 2001. Overall, Portland owns a 12-3-0 advantage in the series.

SCOUTING PORTLAND: The Pilots went 2-0-1 over their last three games to up their record to 9-8-1 and secure a spot in the College Cup. UP earned a big win over San Diego on Nov. 2 by a count of 4-2, tied at San Francisco 0-0 and beat Cal Poly 2-1 on Nov. 9. Prior to that, UP had lost three straight matches to Seattle, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount, the latter two of which are College Cup teams. Alejandro Salazar heads a Pilot attack that put up 30 goals, accounting for 10 scores himself and a total of 21 points. Christopher Sanders and Josh Simpson had 16 and 12 points, respectively. Freshman Luis Robles has started all 18 games, earning five shutouts and posting a 1.13 goals-against average while making 63 saves. Portland owns a 30-22 advantage in goals scored. Portland was just 2-5-1 away from Merlo Field overall and 1-4-0 in non-league road games.

A TOUGH ROAD TO THE POSTSEASON: Of OSU's 19 games this year, nine of them were against teams that qualified for postseason play. OSU was 5-4 in those matches, beating California twice and Washington, San Diego and Rhode Island once. OSU lost twice to UCLA and once to Washington and Portland.

LAST ACTION: OSU faced potential second-round foe Washington last Sunday in the regular-season finale, falling 1-0 at Husky Soccer Field on a Brett Wiesner goal in the 76th minute. Peter Billmeyer made nine saves, matching a season high set against Stanford on Nov. 2.

OSU RANKED: Oregon State dropped out of the NSCAA poll and is 18th in the Soccer America ratings. College Soccer News picked OSU 18th as well.

OSU SEEKING SCHOOL-RECORD WIN: With a win Saturday, the Beavers would set a new school record with 14 wins. They equaled last year's school-best with their 13th win against Fresno State on Nov. 7.

Ryan Johnson SIXTH IN NCAA: Sophomore forward/midfielder Ryan Johnson (Boston, Mass.) ranks sixth in the NCAA in assists-per-game with a 0.68 mark; he has 13 assists in 19 games. His three assists against Rhode Island on Sept. 21 equaled the highest single-game total in the country. Johnson has not tallied an assist since Oct. 19 against Washington, but had three goals in his last five games.

QUICK SHOT: The Beavers are 7-0 when leading at halftime and 9-1 when they score first this year.

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 334, as well as season saves with 100 (2002). His 1.30 goals-against average this year is an all-time personal low.

OSU PLAYERS ON TEAMS OF THE WEEK, NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Four Beavers have earned national and Pac-10 recognition this year.

Peter Billmeyer - College Soccer News T.O.W. (Oct. 12)

Carlos Cornejo - Pac-10 Player of the Week (Oct. 12); College Soccer News T.O.W. (Oct. 12); SoccerAmerica T.O.W. (Oct. 12)

Robbie Findley - Pac-10 Player of the Week (Nov. 2); College Soccer News T.O.W. (Nov. 2);SoccerAmerica T.O.W. (Nov. 2)

Alan Gordon - Pac-10 Player of the Week (Sept. 14); College Soccer News T.O.W. (Oct. 19)

JOHNSON OWNS CAREER AND SEASON ASSIST MARKS: 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. Though he won't reach the school record, Gordon now has 59 points (26 goals, 7 assists) for his career and jumped up to third on OSU's career scoring list. 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). Young played from 1989-92.

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

HIGH-OCTANE OFFENSE: OSU is tied for 19th nationally in scoring offense with a 2.05 goals-per game average. OSU has 39 goals in 19 games.

ROAD WARRIORS: OSU is 7-4-0 (counting neutral sites) away from Lorenz Field this year - matching the record for road wins set by the 1991 squad.

WIN STREAKS: The Beavers' matched last year's school record seven-game winning streak before UCLA broke the string on Nov. 9. OSU's seven-game Pac-10 winning streak was OSU's longest conference streak ever.

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 21st nationally with a 0.53 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 22 points (10 goals, 2 assists), which ranks 10th on OSU's single-season points list. He had a streak of four goals in three games (California, Stanford, Fresno State) from Oct. 31-Nov. 7. 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 71 career matches in which he has played. He did not play against Fresno State on Nov. 7, but started against UCLA on Nov. 9. Billmeyer has started 58 straight games in goal, and 69 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 140-138-14 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 42-58-6 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.

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 43-49-1 overall record, and is 14-28-1 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 1,300. 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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