Beavers' Recruiting Class Ranked 12th By College Soccer News

A top-flight 2004 recruiting class for sixth-year head coach Dana Taylor's Oregon State men's soccer program was recently rated the 12th-best in the nation by College Soccer News.

The ranking of 12th is the highest ever for an OSU signing class. Beginning with the 2001 group, OSU's College Soccer News signing class rankings have been 38th, 20th, 15th, and 12th.

The six-member class consists of Region IV Olympic Development Program Team members Alex Christensen, Brett Gardner, Loren Hill, Ryan Quinliven and Mason Webb, as well as sophomore transfer Chris Murphy, who comes to OSU from Fresno State.

Among the Pacific-10 Conference schools, OSU's class trailed only top-ranked UCLA's. Stanford's signees ranked 17th, Washington's 22nd and California's 31st. The Beaver class also topped defending national champion No. 14 Indiana, as well as No. 32 Creighton, where Taylor served four years as an assistant coach.

Some of the standouts of recent OSU recruiting classes have included Alan Gordon (2002), who leads the 'A' League in scoring as a member of the Portland Pilots and was a third-team CSN All-American last year; Ryan Johnson (2002), who led the nation in assists for much of 2003; Robbie Findley (2003), the 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a second-team all-conference pick; and the late Joe Zaher (2002), the 2002 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-American.

The Beavers open their season with six consecutive matches on the road, including an opener against former OSU assistant Steve Simmons' Northern Illinois squad on Aug. 28. The home-opener is Wed., Sept. 15 against Gonzaga.

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