The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.
The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.
To say the end of the Long Beach State women’s soccer 2021 season was disappointing would be an understatement.
The Beach entered the final weekend atop the Big West but lost its last two games at home to miss the conference tournament.
“Last season stung at the end,” coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “But when you step away and look back we did a fantastic job getting back in the winning column. It was our first real season since COVID and I feel like we’re finally back on our feet. Last season was important for us to be where we’re at today.”
It’s fair to be excited for this upcoming LBSU season that features a great home schedule and nationally ranked incoming recruiting class.
“I feel like we’re going to pick up where we left off last year,” senior Lena Silano said. “I think the new players are really good and they’re just going to enhance the program.”
Forwards Cherrie Cox and Felicia Jastré Högberg are two of the freshmen who could improve the Beach attack immediately with Silano and junior Sophia Jones already returning.
“I’m more of a technical player who needs to know what’s happening around me and has a high IQ on the field,” Cox said. “I’m need to be a playmaker.”
Silano is coming off a breakout season when she led LBSU with 11 goals and six game-winners, which is the second most in program history. She was named first team All-Big West and second team United Soccer Coaches All-West Region. This week, Silano was picked as a part of the preseason All-Conference Team and as a “Forward to Watch” this upcoming season by the United Soccer Coaches.
“Last year was just the first of everything,” Silano said. “I’m happy to have that experience under my belt because I learned a lot because that was my first full season of playing (striker) and I feel like my IQ improved and mentally I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m excited to enjoy this journey.”
Forward Felicia Jastré Högberg was also honored this week when she was named to Top Drawer Soccer’s preseason Freshman Best XI team. The Freshman Best XI is part of the TDS preseason release acknowledging the top players in the nation at their respective positions.
Högberg, a Swedish native, scored in the second LBSU exhibition game at Arizona State last weekend. The Beach scored three times in two exhibitions while picking up a win and a draw.
Prior to coming to Long Beach, Högberg played for Jitex BK of the Elitettan League leading them to their first Kommunal Cup in 34 years. She also had a two-year stint with IFK Fjärås where she totaled 36 goals in 22 games.
The LBSU season starts Thursday at George Allen Field where the Beach hosts University of Pacific, and then they’re back in action against USC on Sunday. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. at George Allen Field.
Come back tomorrow for more about LBSU women’s soccer!