Men's Soccer Ends Season By Sending Two To Second-Team All-Conference Squad, Six Earn Honorable Mention

Nov. 16, 2000


The Oregon State men's soccer team faced what could have been obstacles at the beginning of the season, but turned a rigorous shedule and a youthful team into upset victories and a talent-laden roster ripe for continued success next season.

The Beavers (7-11-1) improved over last year's victory total of five and had eight athletes earn all-conference recognition for the 2000 season. Five freshmen earned recognition, including team co-captain Josh Elbaum, who earned second-team All-Pacific-10 honors as a midfielder. Senior Matt Olsen earned a second-team selection as well for his midfield play, while Peter Billmeyer (Fr., goal), Stephen Hensor (Fr., mid.), Justin Kirk (So., mid.), Jesse Servin (Fr., for.), Ryan Smith (So., mid.), and Christian vanBlommestein (Fr., back) all earned Pacific-10 honorable mention.

So improved were the Beavers that for a few false steps, the young crew would have likely been playing in the NCAA tournament, according to head coach Dana Taylor.

'I really thought that we needed to win the game against Illinois-Chicago (lost 1-0) early-on in the year, as well as the Cal-Irvine and Northridge games (both 2-1 losses),' Taylor said. 'If we get those three wins, and the tie against California (1-1), we're in the NCAA tournament. And the sad thing is that all four of those games were games in which we really controlled our own destiny and let them slip away.

'Then, if you get those four wins, who is to say that with a better record and knowing that a little more is at stake that you can't put away a team in the Pac-10 like that last game (against Stanford) and get that little extra effort.'

Leading the way this season for the Beavers was Elbaum, who lit up the opposition for six goals and four assists and a total of 16 points. He also led the squad with 38 shots and two game-winning goals.

Kirk and Olsen posted double-digit points, as Kirk tallied 11 points on four goals and three assists, while Olsen notched four goals and two assists for 10 points. Aaron McHardy chipped in with four goals of his own.

In goal, Billmeyer smothered 57 opposing shots and averaged a Pac-10-leading 4.38 saves per game. He was three saves short of a spot on the school's all-time top-three list. He also posted a 1.55 goals-against average in 13 games and 1,160 minutes.

The Beavers scored 26 goals, the same as last year, but allowed eight fewer than last season's total with 32. OSU did so against a much tougher schedule, which featured 13 teams that went to the 1999 NCAA tournament. Six of OSU's year 2000 opponents were ranked in the NSCAA top 25 at the time the teams met, and four were in the top 10. OSU's highlight wins included victories over then-No. 10 Portland and then-No. 17 UCLA - the first ever win against the Bruins.

After a season to evaluate his talent, Taylor believes his squad is much improved at every position compared to the beginning of the year.

'We're definitely a stronger team in goal,' Taylor said of the position manned by Pac-10 honorable mention winner Billmeyer and Mark Muleady. 'We're definitely stronger in the back line and we're definitely stronger in the midfield. Up front, I thought we combined and played better as a team, but we still had difficulty putting away the goal in that critical moment of the game when we really needed to. We are yet to have a player to come in - and that's part of my job - is that I've got to recruit a player who can come in and put the ball in the back of the net in any given situation. That really falls on me, and that's not the team's fault, it's definitely an area that I have to go out and recruit.'

Taylor also feels that his squad, though youthful, took well to his philosophy, but is in a continual process of meshing, a fact that should bode well for the future. The squad had to adapt at times to its competition, but with a greater understanding of situations and more experience, the Beavers will look to dictate their game to opponents next year.

'Next year, I don't see us having to change up as much,' Taylor said. 'They understand what I want in various systems, they know how to play in various systems and feel more comfortable in certain systems than others, but that part is gelling and they're understanding that. Now it's time for us to step out and really put the pressure on other teams and make them play to our style. That's something we're going to really work on this winter.

'We feel like the talent is right here to go forward,' Taylor continued. 'I'm excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead.'

OSU ALL-TIME RECORD: The Beavers now have an all-time record of 109-112-14 in overall play since the program's inception in 1988 under coach Jimmy Conway.

In league games, OSU is 30-42-6. Oregon State competed in the Northwest Collegiate 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.

JAMES ALBERT: The senior forward finished his career as one of three players (Matt Olsen, Ben Roth) with 50-plus career games played at Oregon State... led the team with 64 career games played... totaled two goals and three assists for seven points... scored a goal on Sept. 22 against UCSB... scored against Stanford in 2-1 loss... recorded assists against Oral Roberts on Sept. 3, UCLA on Oct. 13, UCLA on Oct. 22 in 2-1 win... 22 shots.

PETER BILLMEYER: The freshman goalkeeper wrapped up the season with a 1.55 goals-against average in 13 games... had 57 saves, including an eight-save performance against Washington on Oct. 1 and seven against Santa Clara on Sept. 14 and against Stanford on Nov. 12... led the Pac-10 in saves per game with 4.38... 57 saves was second-highest total in the league... tied for fifth in Pac-10 with two shutouts... earned honorable mention All-Pacific-10.

JOSH BOYS: Played in 11 games, starting six... no points or shots.

CLAY CARNAHAN: Appeared in two games... no shots.

ALEX CLOSE: Scored one goal and had no assists for a total of 2 points... fired 12 shots on the year... scored goal against Oral Roberts on Sept. 3.

ROSS DUNCAN: Had one goal for total of two points... scored his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State on Sept. 10... nine shots.

JOSH ELBAUM: The team co-captain tallied six goals and four assists for 16 points to lead team in each catagory... recorded his first career goal in a 3-0 win over Sacramento State when he curved a corner kick into the net... scored against then-No. 10 Portland in 2-1 win on Sept. 19, Cal-Santa Barbara on Sept. 22, and UCLA on Oct. 22... scored two goals and an assist in season- ending double-overtime loss to then-No. 4 Stanford... had four assists, which came against Cal-Irvine in 2-1 loss, UCSB in 4-2 win, Gonzaga in 4-1loss, and 4-3 2OT loss to Stanford... led the team with 38 shots... finished in the top 10 in seven different catagories in the Pac-10: tied for eighth in shots (38), tied for seventh in points (16), tied for seventh in goals (6), tied for 10th in assists (4), ninth in shots per game (2.0), ninth in points per game (0.84), eighth in goals per game (0.32)... earned second team All-Pacific-10 honors.

JEROD FITZGERALD: Played in two games, starting one... took one shot.

TATE GENTILE: Played in four games... took one shot.

STEPHEN HENSOR: Played in all 19 games... no goals, assists, shots... earned honorable mention All-Pacific-10.

NICK JENSEN: Played in 13 games... no goals or assists... five shots.

JUSTIN KIRK: The sophomore forward had four goals and three assists... booted his first goal of the season in a 2-1 loss to Cal-Irvine on Sept. 16... scored again in loss to CS-Northridge on Sept. 24... scored against San Francisco on Oct. 15... scored goal against Stanford on Nov. 12... had one assist in OSU's 3-0 win at Oral Roberts on Sept. 3... tallied another assist against Cal-Santa Barbara in 4-2 win on Sept. 22, and against UCLA on Oct. 22... has 26 shots on the year... earned honorable mention All-Pacific-10.

JON LAW: Played in seven games... had one assist against Cal-Santa Barbara on Sept. 22.

JOSH MCCARTY: Played in two games, starting one... took one shot.

AARON MCHARDY: Scored four goals and had no assists for eight points... recorded a goal in 2-1 win over Tulsa on Sept. 1, Sacramento State on Sept. 10, in 1-1 tie with California, and in 2-1 win over UCLA on Oct. 22... 32 shots was second on the team.

MARK MULEADY: Had a 1.85 GAA in seven games... 30 saves.

KURT NESS: Played in every game as a back... three shots.

MATT OLSEN: Totaled 10 points on four goals and two assists... goals came in wins over Oral Roberts and Portland, with two in a win over Cal-Santa Barbara... recorded assists against Oral Roberts and Portland... 13 shots... earned second-team All-Pacific-10 recognition.

BEN ROTH: Roth has played in 54 career games, starting 50... 50 starts is tops on the squad... scored one goal... goal came against Gonzaga on Oct. 29... 13 shots.

JESSE SERVIN: Scored two goals and had one assist for total of five points... booted a goal in each of the first two games of his career on Sept. 1 and 3... scored OSU's first goal of the season unassisted against Tulsa and followed that up with a score off a Matt Olsen pass against Oral Roberts two days later... tallied an assist against Stanford on Nov. 12... took 28 shots... honorable mention All-Pacific-10 selection.

GAVIN SHAK: The sophomore transfer from UCLA played in 11 games, starting seven... had one assist and three shots.

RYAN SMITH: Scored one goal and an assist for total of three points... scored against UCLA on Oct. 13... recorded an assist against UCLA on Oct. 22... took 20 shots... started all 16 games in which he played... honorable mention All-Pacific-10 selection.

CHRISTIAN vanBLOMMESTEIN: Started 18 games as a back... six shots... honorable mention All-Pacific-10.

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH DANA TAYLOR: Dana Taylor guided the Beavers to a 7-11-1 record overall and 1-6-1 in Pac-10 play in his second year at the helm of the OSU program as the Pac-10 began men's soccer play this year. Among the wins were triumphs over in-state rival Portland on Sept. 19, which was ranked No. 10 at the time (NSCAA poll), and Pac-10 rival UCLA (then No. 17) on Oct. 22. The Beavers went 5-12-0 in Taylor's first year.

Prior to coming to OSU, Taylor spent four seasons at perennial powerhouse Creighton, where he worked mostly with the goalkeepers. Taylor helped the Bluejays to a 63-17-6 record during his tenure, while the Bluejays captured two Missouri Valley Conference titles.

ALL-PAC-10 SELECTIONS: Josh Elbaum (Fr., Denver, Colo.) and Matt Olsen (Sr., Helena, Mont.) were named to the Pacific-10 All-Conference second team, while Peter Billmeyer, Stephen Hensor, Justin Kirk, Jesse Servin, Ryan Smith, and Christian vanBlommestein earned honorable mention.

MATT OLSEN PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR SEPT. 26: Olsen was selected as the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week for Sept. 19-Sept. 25 as the Beavers went 2-1 in that span.

Olsen, a senior, had a goal and an assist in OSU's 2-1 upset win over then-No. 10 Portland on Sept. 19, then followed that with a two-goal performance as the Beavers knocked off Cal-Santa Barbara 4-2.

The award was the first of Olsen's career.

OREGON STATE STATISTICS OF INTEREST: The Beavers were outscored 32-26... OSU was outshot 280-248... the Beavers had four more fouls than their opponents, 379-375... OSU had a .452 (112-248) shots-on-goal percentage, while holding opponents to .446 (125-280)... opponents held a 121-93 advantage in corner kicks.

YOUTH DOMINATES OSU ROSTER: The Beaver roster featured 12 freshmen, 10 sophomores, two juniors, and four seniors in 2000. As many as seven freshmen were on the field at the same time for OSU this year, and 10 of the 12 saw action. Seven of the 10 sophomores saw playing time, while both juniors and all four seniors contributed.

STANFORD 4, OREGON STATE 3 (2 OT): The Beavers got two goals and an assist from Josh Elbaum and another score from Justin Kirk as the Beavers pushed the No. 6 Stanford Cardinal to double overtime before Stanford's Scott Leber drove home the game-winning score.

NATIONALLY RANKED OPPONENTS: Of OSU's opponents this year, Stanford was ranked fourth nationally in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll as of Nov. 6. Washington was 21st.

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 to both play and watch the sport on the West Coast.

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 17-21-3 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.

The Beavers went 4-4-1 at home this season, including wins over nationally ranked Portland (then No. 10) and UCLA (then No. 17).

MEN'S SOCCER TICKETS: All tickets for Oregon State men's soccer games are sold on a general admission basis. They are priced at $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens age 62 and over and students high school age and under. OSU students are admitted free with OSU student identification card.

Local Bi-Mart stores have coupons good for two admissions for the price of one for OSU men's soccer games.

Men's soccer is also part of the OSU Six-Sport Pass, which is good for general admission seating at all home contests in men's and women's soccer, volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics and baseball.

Members of the Junior Benny Beaver Club are also admitted free to all women's soccer games with their club membership card. AYSO youth soccer players are admitted free to all men's home soccer games when wearing their team jersey.

OSU SPORTS 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) 737-3720. 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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