Men's Soccer Nails UCLA, 1-0
Oct. 21, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. - -
For the second year in a row, UCLA paid a visit to Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium in Corvallis, and for the second year in a row, the Oregon State men's soccer team sent the Bruins home with a loss.
Oregon State (5-6-0 overall) evened its Pac-10 record at 1-1 with a 1-0 decision over UCLA (6-6-2) on Sunday afternoon thanks to a score in the 41st minute by Aaron McHardy and a dominant team performance in the second half. The Beavers also improved to 5-2 in their last seven games.
McHardy's ninth goal of the season was set up when OSU cleared the ball from its own end and sent a long pass up the right sideline, which Bruin goalkeeper Zach Wells charged near the top of the penalty box.
McHardy and a diving Wells arrived at the same time, but McHardy was able to prevent Wells from corralling the ball. McHardy controlled the loose ball, took one dribble back to clear himself from Wells and lobbed a shot that at first appeared to be too high, but curved down and into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
The Beavers survived the opening minutes that saw the Bruins scatter shots at OSU keeper Peter Billmeyer, and were able to gather themselves to retaliate with McHardy's goal.
'The guys had a rough start of it in the first half,' third-year OSU coach Dana Taylor said. 'They worked extremely hard, but the speed of this game versus that of Western Washington ( on Friday) was completely different. It took us some time - probably 20-25 minutes to adjust our game back to the UW or UCLA level.
'To the untrained eye, early on it may have looked like we were taking a beating, but if you look at the kind of opportunities they had, they didn't have many point-blank opportunities to score.'
OSU controlled the pace of play in the second half, and again thwarted UCLA chances with stiff defense. Billmeyer recorded a career-high 11 saves on the afternoon, and has moved into third place on OSU's season saves list with 67. He and the defense also recorded their second consecutive shutout, having throttled Western Washington 5-0 on Friday.
The Beavers have now scored 18 goals in their last seven games, allowing only nine over that same span. With the emergence of the offense, the defense has become that much more effective.
'The defense has always been good, it just needs a little pressure taken off of them. By having Aaron finish that opportunity, it just sparked us,' Taylor said.
OSU kept up the pressure in the second half, with shots from Ignacio Cid, Kevin Atkinson, and Chad Bartlome missing by inches. Though Billmeyer was credited with 11 saves - five in the second half - the defense rarely allowed UCLA to get a solid foot on the ball for a serious threat.
'I thought the second half was a totally different half,' Taylor said. 'Even though we scored in the first half, the second half we really played. We moved the ball, and I really think the score could have been four or five goals. Even though they outshot us, their shots were all over the frame. Our shots were on target and were dangerous breakaways. I was really proud of the way our guys battled and worked.'
With his goal, McHardy tied Sean Young for seventh on OSU's all-time list for goals in a season with nine. He also tied Greg Howes for seventh on OSU's season points list with 20. The junior entered the weekend tied for second in the Pacific-10 in goals and tied for third in total points.
Last year, the Beavers sent the Bruins home with a 2-1 loss when UCLA came to Corvallis ranked No. 17.
'Anytime you have an opportunity to play UCLA, it's a great rivalry,' Taylor said of OSU's conference rival that they will face again on Nov. 9. 'Plus, they're one of the top programs in the country, so the guys are definitely up for it. We knew that after last year, having them come in here and beating them, that we could do it, so this year we have a little more composure and a little more firepower.'
The Beavers take their momentum south next weekend, where they will battle Stanford on Friday and California on Sunday.
OREGON STATE 1, UCLA 0
UCLA 0 0 - 0
Oregon State 1 0 - 1
OSU - Aaron McHardy (unassisted), 40:18
SHOTS: UCLA 25, OSU 12, CORNER KICKS: UCLA 6, OSU 4, SAVES: UCLA 3, OSU 11, FOULS: UCLA 12,OSU 25
OSU - Christian vanBlommestein, 10:13
OSU - Ross Duncan, 26:52
OSU - Kurt Ness, 43:36
UCLA - Ryan Futagaki, 62:59