Long Beach State Soccer

Long Beach State Women’s Soccer Ends Season With Heartbreaking Loss

A few last-minute goals helped Long Beach State women’s soccer stay in the hunt for the Big West Conference championship, but a last-minute goal proved to be their undoing on the last day of the regular season.

The Beach (9-7-2, 6-3-1) scored first on Sunday at George Allen Field only to see UC Santa Barbara (7-8-3, 6-3-1) score twice in the last 20 minutes, including a game-winning strike in the 90th minute, to take all the points 2-1.

LBSU was on track to make the conference tournament with a positive result, but now its season is over while UCSB advances to the postseason.

“It’s just really unfortunate to finish this way but I’m very proud of my group,” LBSU coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “We played some great soccer this year and overcame a lot of adversity to put ourselves in this position and unfortunately we didn’t have enough to get it done at the very end… It’s the end of a really tough 18 months. Congrats to Santa Barbara.”

The Beach was outshot 18-10, and only had three shots on goal, but the first one in the 17th minute ended up in the back of the net. On a set piece from 25-yards out straightaway, Maddy Perez sent in a perfect ball over the UCSB wall that found Kaitlin Fregulia. The senior played it down with her chest to beat the goalkeeper, and then slid to finish near the post. It’s Fregulia’s seventh career goal.

NCAA Soccer: Kaitlin Fregulia Scores For Long Beach State

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UCSB equalized on a wonder strike off the foot of O’Callahan from about 20 yards out, and after LBSU left multiple chances to score unfinished at the other end, Grouwinkel pounced on a misplayed ball in the 18-yard box to score with less than a minute left in regulation.

NCAA Soccer: UC Santa Barbara Goals Against Long Beach State

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“It’s for sure hard to let it all go but I left it all out there in my last game,” Fregulia said. “It has to end sometime, and this is a really poor way to go out, but it’s been an honor to wear this jersey as long as I have.”

Fregulia, the 2017 Big West Defender of the Year, made 64 starts in her six years at LBSU.

“My seniors are incredible and they probably deserved a little bit more out of this year but I’m very proud of them,”

Ingrassia said.Fregulia and fellow 2021 seniors Kaylee Ramirez, Kayla Cannon, Nadiyah Siqueiros and Sarah Pilster were honored before the game. A pair of 2020 seniors Marta Almany Sanchez and Jada Thomas were honored as well.


PHOTOS: Long Beach State vs. UCSB, NCAA Women’s Soccer

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.