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The men's program is reaching new heights under head coach Terry Boss - and his vision of spreading joy to the community.



The Oregon State men's soccer team just finished its best season in school history, but head coach Terry Boss still has bigger plans.

"We haven't accomplished what we want to," Boss noted in the days leading up to the team's quarterfinal matchup with Clemson. "We've definitely hit some milestones along the way, but the big one's still out there."

The 'big one' — the national championship — continues to elude the Beavers, as Oregon State lost to Clemson on penalty kicks at Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The result, however, should not take away from the significance of what the team accomplished this season. The Beavers were the No. 1 overall seed in the men's NCAA tournament, won the Pac-12 championship and they made it all the way to the national quarterfinals.

As heartbreaking as the loss was, this group of Beavers made it further than any before them. Even more importantly, the program continues to be on an unmistakably upward trajectory under the guidance of Boss — so, it may not be too long before the Beavers rewrite the history books again.

Just consider what Pat Casey did with the Oregon State baseball team.

In 2005, the Beavers made it to the College World Series for the first time in over 50 years and just the second time in school history. While they did not hoist the trophy that year, the team  — which no longer featured star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury — won the next two national championships. It became instantly clear that the program itself was bigger than any single player. The Beavers are now a perennial powerhouse in baseball.

Slowly but surely, Boss is trying to do the same thing with the men's soccer team.PMG PHOTO: RALEIGH EMERSON - The Oregon State men's soccer team forms a wall to block Clemson striker Hamady Diop, 5, on his free kick Saturday, Dec. 4 during the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament at Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis.

"This all started four years ago," said Boss, who took the head job in Corvallis after previously rising to the level of associate head coach at the University of Virginia. "That's the beauty of this group. It's not one season. It's been four years in the making to move to where we're at right now.

"When we came together four years ago, (winning a championship) was the intention of the group," Boss continued. "I told the guys after we won the Pac-12 championship, 'Thank you. Thank you for trusting in me and this vision.'"

Boss was quick to note that he does not deserve all the praise — or, perhaps, any of it — for this magical season.

"They get all the credit," Boss said of his players. "They've come in and worked day in and day out. We've had some good teams, and we've had to learn some hard lessons along the way."

Losing to Clemson — and losing the way they did — is just one more hard lesson for Boss and the Beavers. Thankfully, Boss says that his group thrives on continued education.

"This is what I'd say about this group that makes them so special," Boss began. "They want to continue to learn every day. They want to keep getting better. We believe that our best game is ahead of us, and that's an internal mindset that has pushed this group to where they're at right now."

Boss also discussed how he and his staff have impressed upon the players that, while soccer is ultimately just a game, it can still have a far-reaching impact on a community. Corvallis, in particular, takes immense pride when the Beavers perform well.

For Boss, who grew up just six miles from OSU in Philomath, that relationship between sport and community is not just theoretical.PMG PHOTO: RALEIGH EMERSON - Fans cheer on the Oregon State men's soccer team against Clemson on Saturday, Dec. 4 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament at Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis. Head coach Terry Boss, a Philomath local, wants to help create joy in a community that's close to his heart.

"When you grow up in Philomath and you come back," Boss said of his decision to return to Benton County after his time in Virginia, "you're just so aware of how lucky you were to grow up in such an unbelievable community that supported you, that pushed you on. It feels like a family."

As for Boss' actual family, his younger brother Kevin was a Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants in 2007. For his part, Terry was also a pro athlete, having brief stints in Major League Soccer and with the Puerto Rico national team before going into coaching. While on staff at Virginia in 2014, the elder Boss was part of a national championship squad. Boss said that he and Kevin kept their sibling rivalry to backyard competitions, but otherwise, they have always cheered each other on in their athletic endeavors.

For all the success the family has had, though, Boss always reframes the achievements in terms of what they mean to the people back home. That mindset is one he has instilled in the Beaver program.

"I think that's a little bit of the secret behind this group," explained Boss. "Our guys understand that this game is bigger than themselves. We use the language in our locker room, 'Your gifts are meant to be given away.' I think when people give their gifts away, there's a lot of joy. Somebody asked me, 'How does a team play with so much joy?' That was the greatest compliment I've ever received."PMG PHOTO: RALEIGH EMERSON - Oregon State men's soccer's Sofiane Djeffal, 10, celebrates after scoring a goal against Clemson with teammates Gael Gibert, 3, Javier Armas, 8 and Nicklas Lund on Saturday, Dec. 4 in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals match at Paul Lorenz Field in Corvallis.

While the Beavers' joy may give way to grief in the wake of the quarterfinal loss, Oregon State can take some solace in the fact that much of the starting lineup could return next year — just like with OSU baseball in 2006. Regardless of who takes the field for the Beavers next season, though, Boss will be sure to remind them that giving away their gifts will lead to joy for all involved.

And with a group as gifted as next year's should be, the Beavers are sure to bring plenty more joy to the community.


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