Long Beach State Soccer

Long Beach State Women’s Soccer Drops Heartbreaker To No. 15 Texas

The562’s coverage of Long Beach State athletics for the 2023-24 season is sponsored by Marilyn Bohl.

It only took 41 seconds for Cherrie Cox to show Long Beach State women’s soccer fans why expectations are so high this season.

With No. 15 Texas in town for home opener at George Allen Field on Thursday, Cox’s goal in the first minute gave the Beach a one-goal lead they held for most of the night.

However, the Longhorns scored a pair of fortunate goals in the last seven minutes to steal all the points in a 4-3 victory. The game-winner came with just 17 seconds left on the clock. That was the only 17 seconds LBSU trailed all night.

“We showed up to play, that’s for sure,” LBSU coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “There’s a lot of good moments tonight and we’re going to build off of those moments. We scored three goals against the No. 15 team in the nation and we kind of fumbled three goals ourselves.”

Cox scored twice in the first and 52rd minutes before Elysia Laramie gave LBSU a 3-2 lead in the 58th minute. Texas got a pair of goals from Trinity Byars while Abby Allen and Ashlyn Miller also scored for the Longhorns.

“We’re obviously disappointed in the result, we definitely thought we deserved to win that,” Cox said. “This is just a learning experience for us, and we leaned we can handle and compete with every team. Playing No. 15 and not competing on paper, but that doesn’t mean anything. What’s on the field is what matters.”

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Cox scored the fastest goal in LBSU program history 41 seconds after the opening whistle when Aleea Caceres took a through ball to the end line and send it back to the middle. In deflected off Laramie and a Texas defender before falling perfectly in the middle of the 18-yard box for Cox to blast home.

“I honestly didn’t expect it,” Cox said. “Obviously that got the crowd going and we fed off the energy.”

LBSU goalkeeper Morgan Houston Shepherd and her defense took that lead to halftime after she made three of her five saves in the first half. Defender Kana Uchida also made a heads up play to clear a ball off the line at the half-hour mark.

Both offenses came alive with four goals in the first 12 minutes of the second half. Miller headed home a Lexi Missimo set piece to equalize in the 52 minute, but Cox put the Beach back in front a minute later off a Brooklyn Antonucci’s corner kick that Laramie played on to Cox.

Again the Longhorns equalized in the 56th minute of Byars first goal, and Laramie put LBSU ahead again in the 58th minute when she chased down a long ball forward from Alia Sinoff and beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to make it 3-2.

That score held up until Byars scored her first goal by bouncing it in off the head of an LBSU defender. It looked like the game would end in a 3-3 draw until Allen found a fortunate deflection fall to her feet and she sent it home for the win.

“The mistakes were individual, and it wasn’t like it was a lot of deficiency,” Ingrassia said. “It’s pointed mistakes we can fix.”

Weather permitting, LBSU will be back on the field to host Boston College at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

VIDEO: Long Beach State vs. Texas, Women’s Soccer
PHOTOS: Long Beach State vs. Texas, Women’s Soccer
PHOTOS: Long Beach State vs. Texas, 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.