OSU Ready To Host A Top-10 Weekend

Oct. 5, 2004

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THIS WEEK: Oregon State (5-5-1 overall, 0-1-0 Pacific-10) continues its tough men's soccer schedule with home games this week against a pair of top-10 teams: No. 7 Stanford on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 3 California on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lorenz Field at Valley Stadium.

'Every game is crucial, but we are just going keep riding the ship in the right direction.' OSU head coach Dana Taylor said. 'I'm optimistic about this team,' Taylor said of the Beavers. 'This team has the ability to beat anybody when it puts its mind to it.'

The Beavers - a postseason team in both 2002 and 2003 - continue to gain experience after graduating seven seniors after last season.

'We're super young, and guys are learning their roles very quickly and doing a great job at it,' Taylor said. 'They've played against the No. 1 ranked team in the country (Indiana), the No. 9 ranked team in the country (Notre Dame) and we've beaten some nationally-ranked teams. When you think about how many freshmen and sophomores we have on the pitch, it bodes well for this team and the future of Oregon State soccer.'

'They'll come in with a very organized team,' Taylor said of the Cardinal. 'They're going to have a lot of energy and they're going to be excited to play us because we got two from them last year. And we got two from Cal last year.

'Having said that, it's going to be a free-for-all.'

THE STANFORD CARDINAL: Perennially one of the top programs in country, Stanford has again lived up expectations with a nationally contending team. After losing just two seniors from last year, the 2004 Stanford team returns an experienced core of players that are looking to improve on last years 3-15-2 record. So far, the Cardinal has accumulated a 5-1-3 record and that has earned them a No. 7 ranking nationally. Senior goalkeeper and captain Robby Fulton was one of 25 players recently named to the watch list for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy. On the offense side, leading scorers Matt Janusz and Darren Fernandez will be leading the potent Cardinal attack. Stanford has an all-time record of 14-3-2 against OSU.

SCOUTING THE CALIFORNIA BEARS: The No. 3 ranked California Bears are sitting atop the nation with dangerous and experienced squad. The Bears are returning all 11 starters from last year's team that broke new ground for the California soccer program. California has amassed a 7-0-1 record this year and looks to improve through the Pac-10 schedule where they are picked to finish second. Of the 11 returning Carl Acosta and Mike Munoz will be leading the Cal Bears this year. Carl Acosta, considered one of the best forwards in the country, was named to the second team All-America squad in preseason and he led Cal in scoring last year. Munoz, playing from the midfield, was a first team all Pac-10 selection last year and led the team shots. California has an all-time record of 11-7-1 against OSU.

RECENT STANDOUT PERFORMANCES: Against the No. 11 UCLA Bruins, Ryan Johnson scored off of a headed pass from Robbie Findley. For Johnson, the goal was his fourth of the season. The assist from Findley tied him for the team lead in assists with two.

OSU RECAP VS. UCLA: Three pivotal errors from OSU led to goals for UCLA that put the game out of reach. Two of the scores came off of penalty kicks and another off a misplayed pass in the Beaver defense. OSU Junior midfielder Ryan Johnson scored the lone goal for the Beavers down 2-0 in the 76th minute. 'We've never won a game at UCLA,' OSU head coach Dana Taylor said 'Its a very hard venue for us to play.' The loss puts OSU to 5-5-1 overall.

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