Long Beach State Soccer

Long Beach State Women’s Soccer Falls To No. 15 USC

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The statistics and final score notwithstanding, Long Beach State women’s soccer went toe-to-toe with No. 15 USC on Sunday night at George Allen Field. The Beach had a handful of opportunities to equalize late in the game, but couldn’t find the equalizer in a 1-0 loss.

USC (1-1-0) took a lead in the seventh minute on a corner kick header, but possession was relatively even for the rest of the night as the Beach battled the physically superior Trojans.

“We’d like to have that first corner kick back,” LBSU coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “We didn’t organize quick enough and we just have to keep working on that because early on it’s been an Achilles heel early on… The rest of the game we managed as well as we could to have a chance at the end which is what we had. We had a couple of nice looks. USC is super talented.”

USC outshot LBSU 17-8 and forced LBSU goalkeepers Morgan Houston-Shepherd and Zora Standifer to make five combined saves. The Beach backline did a fantastic job of working together while the Trojans were whistled for offsides nine times.

“I think this game showed how much potential we have,” LBSU defender Elysia Laramie said. “Every single game you can see us growing and getting better as a team. We’re connecting more passes, we’re more aggressive and we’re winning more tackles.”


After Croix Bethune and Aaliyah Farmer hooked up on the early corner kick goal for USC, the Trojans had a string of chances near the half hour mark before Lena Silano and Summer Laskey almost created an equalizer minutes before halftime.

“We just have to work set pieces and dial down on the little things because the little things really do matter,” Silano said. “For the most part I love that we’re improving as a team and we work super hard and once we figure out the little things it’s all going to pay off in the end. I have no doubt about that.”

USC only outshot the Beach 10-7 in the second half, and Silano earned a free kick at the top of the Trojans 18-yard box in the 72nd minute. The resulting Maddy Perez set piece shot sailed just wide of the near post.

LBSU had the last three shots of the game and they were all golden opportunities for players like Sophie Jones, Sara Ybarra and Aimee Medwin that got the 1,192 home crowd the loudest it was all night. The crowd was the largest at George Allen Field for a non-conference match since 2018.

“It’s our thing and we do that, I saw the hope and we all believed it was going to happen,” Silano said of the second half Beach attack.

“I’m happy with the chances we created,” Ingrassia said. “Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a hole but we fought all the way and it just feels like we ran out of time so that’s a good sign.”

After taking one point from the opening week of the season, LBSU (0-1-1) will host San Diego State on Thursday and Washington on Sunday this week.

“We’re making baby steps moving forward,” Ingrassia said. “Three of the back four are new, we’re starting two freshmen in the midfield and one up top so they just need experience and that’s what we’re getting… They’re showing some character. We just have to keep fighting and clawing and keep responding. There’s a million things that are going to happen in a year and the teams that respond the best to each of those things are the teams that are going to go far.”

VIDEO: Long Beach State vs. USC, NCAA Women’s Soccer
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.