The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach soccer for the 2022-23 season is sponsored by Beach Futbol Club.
For the fourth time in history, and first since 2016, Long Beach State and UC Irvine will play for the Big West Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Cal Poly.
LBSU knocked off top seed and host Cal Poly on Thursday night. The Beach has won four conference titles in the last 12 years, and the last time was in 2016 when LBSU hosted and beat UC Irvine as the No. 4 seed— just like they are this year.
UCI hasn’t given up a goal in the tournament after a 2-0 win over Cal State Fullerton and 1-0 victory over UC Davis. Six different Anteaters have scored two or more goals this season, and Destinee Manzo has scored five. Goalkeeper Gio Hinojosa has played every minute this season with a 0.810 save percentage.
The Beach is the best offense in the Big West and the 34 assists this season is ranks 40th in the nation. Big West Offensive Player of the Year Lena Silano led the conference in every offensive category, and her 16 goals are tied for the single-season program record.
Sophomore goalkeeper Zora Standifer has stepped her game up as a midseason starter due to injury. She leads the Big West with a 0.818 save percentage which ranks 71st in the nation.