The Long Beach State women’s soccer team came home to George Allen Field last Thursday night looking for its offense, but they found heartbreak as visiting UCF scored in the 90th minute to steal a 2-1 victory.
The Beach (2-6-0) has only scored once in the last three games, and has been outscored by its opponents 13-8 this season. Three of those LBSU goals came in one game.
“We have to generate more chances,” LBSU coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “I don’t feel like we generate enough to warrant goals yet. It’s a work in progress. We’re getting better.”
LBSU dominated possession against UCF last week while besting the Knights in shots 10-8, shots on goal 5-2, and corner kicks 5-3. However, UCF opened the scoring in the 65th minute when Zandy Soree’s shot took a key deflection through the LBSU wall to beat goalkeeper Ashley Seymour, who had two great saves on the night.
Junior Kaylee Ramirez (pictured) netted the equalizer in the 68th minute when she tucked a free kick inside the far post from just outside the top of the 18-yard penalty box.
“We saw the near post but (Ingrassia) said to got the far post which is where the keeper was, which is why I was a little bit skeptical about going there,” Ramirez said. “So I knew I had to have the perfect shot for it to get past her and luckily I did.”
“She’s really confident in herself and it’s showing. She’s clutch,” Ingrassia said.
The game looked like it was headed to overtime until UCF’s Ellie Moreno won a 50/50 ball at the edge of the box with less than a minute left in the game and poked it past Seymour.
“It’s obviously very disappointing to not take that into overtime,” Ingrassia said. “But these are things a young team has to learn. I know we’re improving and tonight was proof of that. I thought we were very good. This was a very good team that we played, but we have to find a way to create a little more offense.”
“Honestly, I think it’s an individual effort type of thing,” Ramirez said of the offensive output. “We all need to be giving out 110 percent to get on the end of crosses or to keep taking people on and finishing our opportunities. We have glimpses of the effort to do it, but we just need to find the final key to put it all together.”
“It’s a mentality that we’re looking for,” Ingrassia added. “Last year we had Ashely Gonzales, but it wasn’t like she was scoring over 10 goals. She just gave that extra energy to generate that big chance when you need it. That’s what we’re looking to continue to grow.”
We caught up with Alvarez after the UCF game to talk about her free kicks.
Question: When you and Myah Baksh step over the ball for a free kick like that one tonight, do you decide what you’re going to do in the moment?
Answer: Sometimes Mauricio tells us who and where to play it and then we kind of agree. In that moment tonight he asked me to do it, so I just had to have the confidence to see what he was seeing, and luckily it went in the net.
Q: Did you take free kicks before you got to LBSU?
A: Here and there, but never anything up close to the box. I actually scored my first college goal on a free kick (against CSUN in the regular season finale last year).
Q: Why do you think you’ve earned that role?
A: I think through taking the corner kicks I think maybe (coach) wanted to throw me on as a left footed player because my freshman year we had a left footed player and when she graduated out I kind of got that role.
Q: Where do you get your confidence for those pressure filled-free kicks?
A: I’ve practiced. I worked on it all summer, and me and (Myah) will work on it at practice. It’s kind of natural. I don’t really get that nervous about them anymore.
Q: What’s the most important thing for a good free kick?
A: I think it’s probably confidence and visualizing it.
Freshman Owen Avrit made a phenomenal collegiate debut for Long Beach State men’s golf last week when he finished as the co-medalist at the Husky Invitational in Washington.
Avrit was 6-under par over two rounds, including a five-under first round, and helped LBSU finish second overall in a field of 15 teams. Senior Hunter Epson also finished in the top five, and freshman Trip Morris was 13th.
Avrit was a four-year letter winner at Arroyo Grande High, where he set the school record for low round with a 64 and low career average with 69. He has also won a CIF Central Section title and an FCG International Championship this year.
Men’s Water Polo
The Beach (10-3) won all four of its matches at the Air Force Tournament last weekend in Colorado. No. 9 LBSU got quality victories over No. 20 Brown and the host Falcons.
Senior Austin Stewart scored a game-high six goals in the win over Brown, and junior Nemanja Bakic added four goals. LBSU outscored Brown 4-0 in the forth quarter of a tight game. Sophomore Garrett Zaan scored a team-high three goals in the win over Air Force.
LBSU (3-9) lost all three of its matches at the USD Invitational last weekend. The Beach was swept by No. 20 USC and host San Diego after taking San Diego State to four sets.
Senior Hailey Harward finished the week with 27 digs, and that brings her career total to 1,324. That mark is 11 digs shy of being in the top five all-time at LBSU.
THE LB FEE SHOW
Packed show this week with a great discussion regarding California’s new bill relating to collegiate student-athletes, and then we check in with water polo coach Gavin Arroyo in the middle of his season.
Packed show as Andy and the guys talk about the collegiate likeness bill working through the California Legislature, and then sit down with Gavin Arroyo to talk about his current season as Men’s Water Polo remains in the Top 10.