Oregon State Fall Athletics 2017 Preview

The OSU Beavers line up agains the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sept. 9.

Riley Youngman, Sports Chief

Football

Three games into the 2017 season, the OSU Beaver football team is at a breaking point. Blown out by Colorado State University in the season opener, the Beavers rebounded against Portland State with a 35-32 win. However, the season took a turn for the worse when the Minnesota Golden Gophers ran over the Beavers (literally, putting up 253 rushing yards on the OSU defense) to a 48-14 win at Reser Stadium. As the team heads to Pullman for a make-or-break game against Washington State University, team leaders including starting quarterback Jake Luton and receiver Jordan Villamin remain optimistic.

Freshman safety David Morris recorded 17 tackles in the game against Minnesota, the most notched by an Oregon State player since the 2010 season. According to the athletics department, only 10 players in school history have tallied more than Morris. He leads the team with 25 tackles on the season entering the WSU game.

Defensively, OSU has allowed 138 points to be scored over three games so far, averaging 46 points against per game. OSU allowed 366 points to opponents over the entire 2016 season, averaging 30.5 points against per game overall.

Offensively, standout tailback Ryan Nall leads the team in rushing with 205 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Luton has started all three games and has recorded 674 yards passing with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Tight end Noah Togiai and Villamin lead the team in receiving with 180 and 132 yards respectively, as well as one touchdown each.

In the press conference following the Minnesota game, Luton put an emphasis on learning from the mistakes that have been made, and using them to grow as a team and individuals. Villamin recognized that while the two losses this season have not been easy to handle, the fate of the season rests on the upcoming conference play.

“If we can get on the road from here we’ll be fine, we just need to learn from these couple of losses and move on” Villamin said in the press conference.

Volleyball

Opening Pac-12 play on Sept. 19, the OSU women’s volleyball team has started off the 2017 season by winning seven of their eight games. With only three games remaining before conference play begins against Oregon, the Beavers close out their non-conference games against number one ranked Minnesota, Idaho State and Boise State in the Boise State Classic this weekend. Currently, the Beavers rank tenth nationally in hitting percentage.

After being named to the Pac-12’s preseason first team for the second season in a row, senior outside hitter Mary-Kate Marshall continues to be one of the stars of the team. She is approaching the rank of third all-time in history for the number of kills, and currently sits at 1,531 in her career. In addition to her Pac-12 recognition, Marshall has also been awarded the MVP for team’s first two tournaments this year, as well as being named to the all-tournament team for the games played in the North Texas Challenge tournament. Other players that have earned all-tournament honors at this point include freshman Kylee McLaughlin, redshirt freshman Haylie Bennett and freshman Maddie Goings.

Other notable storylines from the team include junior Kayla Ellis’ journey to 1,000 digs, a feat she is projected to accomplish this season.

Men’s Soccer

With eight starters returning this season, the OSU men’s soccer team is hoping to improve upon their 7-8-3 overall record from 2016.

Currently at 2-4, the team has registered two 1-0 wins, with the most notable coming from an overtime win against UNLV on Aug. 28. Jones scored just 50 seconds into the overtime period to win the match on the golden goal rule.

Senior forward Timmy Mueller is entering the year as a three-time Pac-12 player, which includes being named to the Pac-12 preseason team this year. Mueller netted five goals last year, enough to finish only behind forward Jordan Jones who ended the season with six. Both Jones and Mueller both have a goal and an assist apiece this season.

In an interview for the “Return of the Beavers” article in the Aug. 28, 2017, issue of the Baro, Mueller noted that in his last season at OSU, he is determined to leave behind a legacy of hard-work, grit and tenacity.

“We are a team that will not stop; we will win every ball. We are battlers–we will play the full 90 minutes and then some,” Mueller said in that interview. “That’s the kind of legacy and mentality that we as a whole group of seniors want to leave behind.”

Four of the five Beavers’ next games are at home. The team will open up Pac-12 play on the road at Washington Oct. 1, and will then take on UCLA at Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis on Oct. 5.

Women’s Soccer

One of the biggest stories to come out of the OSU women’s soccer 2017 season so far is senior goalkeeper Bella Geist’s march towards the program’s all time save record. Sitting at 326 saves through her career, and only seven games into the season, Geist is averaging just over 4 saves a game this year. At this pace, she will overtake Michelle Mitchell’s record of 341 saves in the next several weeks. Outside of OSU, Geist has been named the Pac-12 goalkeeper of the week, is ranked ninth all-time in Pac-12 history for saves, has made an appearance with the U.S. Under-23 National Team, and leads the NCAA in active career saves.

Through seven games, the team is 3-2-2, and will open Pac-12 play against Arizona State on Sept. 22. Eleven of the 19 total games the Beavers will play during the regular season will be played at home on Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis. Linus Rhodes is entering his tenth season as the head coach of the team, but is entering his 18th season being on the coaching staff. This season Rhodes has brought on Vanessa Valentine to be the assistant coach, and has promoted Michelle Voiland from assistant coach to associate head coach. Rhodes became the OSU women’s soccer program’s winningest coach in history early this season with 83 total career wins as of Sept. 15, 2017. From OSU Athletics, Valentine has credited Rhodes with creating and implementing a strong vision for the program.

“(Rhodes) has a vision for our program, and he sticks to that vision,” Valentine said in a release from OSU Athletics. “ It’s all about making sure our players have a great experience and making sure the program is always moving forward.”

This year’s team is senior heavy, featuring seven players in their fourth year of the program. Through the first seven games of the season, all seven players have started each match. In addition to Geist, some of the standout players in the senior class include forwards Nikki Farris, Natalie Higgins and Emma Jones, as well as midfielder Kayla Latham. Farris led the team with assists last season as well as tying for goals scored with six.

Women’s Cross Country

The OSU Women’s Cross Country team will open their season on Sept. 16 at the Sundodger Cross Country invitational in Seattle, Wash. After having their first race of the week cancelled last weekend, the team is looking ot open the season on a positive note. First-year head coach Louie Quintana, who is joining the team after 16 years at Arizona State University, is looking to bring the cross country team into the national spotlight.

“There is great potential with this program and I’m excited to team back up with coach Dave Dumble (the current OSU assistant coach and a former ASU assistant) to move this program up the ranks in the Pac-12 Conference and NCAA,” Quintana said in a press release put out by the OSU athletics department. Quintana will also serve as the head track & field coach for OSU

Following the race in Seattle, the Beavers will then head to Eugene for the Dellinger Invitational on Sept. 29. As of Sept. 11, the team was ranked twelfth in the West Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. In the same rankings, seven other Pac-12 teams placed ahead of OSU.

Additional Sports

Beyond these sports, there are more teams that will see action throughout the fall. Both men’s and women’s golf will play in a variety of invitationals, but will do so away from Corvallis. Men’s and women’s rowing will be in Corvallis on Nov. 18 for the Orange & Black Regatta. Women’s and men’s basketball will begin their preseason games in November, and are scheduled to play several of them at home in Gill Coliseum. Finally, the women’s swimming and diving team will also be active throughout the next three months.

Getting Student Tickets

You’re all caught up on the Beaver teams, and now you’re ready to go out and watch a game yourself­—but the only problem is, you don’t know how to get your ticket? This year, you can get student tickets for all sports and games online. If you are enrolled as a fee-paying OSU student or are in the dual-degree program with Linn-Benton Community College, you have access to every Beaver game free-of-charge.

The process for getting a student ticket:

1. Go to osubeavers.com/student and click the “student login” button

2. Once you register your account using your ID # and OSU email, you can login anytime using the password you created.

3. Select the sport and game you want a ticket for

4. Your ticket will be sent to your OSU email inbox

5. Students will need to present their ticket on their smart phone as well as their ID to be addmitted into an event.

Students who require accessible seating can call the Beaver Ticket Office at 541-737-4455 during business hours or email [email protected] to obtain their student ticket and free companion ticket. Accessible seating for students will follow the same distribution schedule. Further questions can be directed to the Beaver Ticket Office.

Beaver Ticket Office

541-737-4455

[email protected]

On Twitter @BeaverTickets