49ers host a pair of conference matches with conference tournament on the horizon
Nov. 7, 2012
49ERS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK: No. 8 Long Beach State will host a pair of conference matches this Thursday (Nov. 8) and Sunday (Nov. 11) at the Campus Pool as LBSU wraps up its three-game home stand. The 49ers will first play No. 4 Pepperdine Thursday at 7 p.m. Long Beach State will then host its final game of the season and honor the seniors Sunday Nov. 11th against No. 9 UC Irvine at noon.
Since taking over the program, Gavin Arroyo has a 3-3 record in conference play against the Waves (11-8, 3-3 MPSF). Pepperdine comes into this week's match up with a one game losing streak suffering a 12-9 loss to California at home. The Waves currently lead the season series 1-0 winning the opening game at the NorCal Tournament 10-8.
Long Beach State will host the Anteaters (14-9, 0-6 MPSF) Sunday as it recognizes the four seniors on the squad. Spencer White, Brian Schiefer, Barry Snyder, and Travis Cleland hope to help the 49ers (19-7, 1-4 MPSF) defeat UCI to cement LBSU's ticket to the MPSF Tournament for the first time since 2008.
LOOKING FORWARD: Since UC Irvine is the only team in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation heading into this week without a win, Long Beach State can almost guarantee itself a spot in the MPSF Tournament (Nov. 23-25) if they defeat the Anteaters Sunday.
A sweep this week would take any guessing out of the equation, but a win over Pepperdine coupled with a loss to UCI still puts Long Beach State in pretty good shape to make the tournament.
The worse possible scenario for the 49ers is if they were to drop both games and have to rely on UCLA to beat UC Irvine in its final game of the season.
BRUINS OUTSHOOT 49ERS: No. 7 Long Beach State tried to keep pace with No. 2 UCLA in the first period but the Bruins would not let down as the 49ers fell to the Bruins 13-8 at the Spieker Aquatics Center Saturday afternoon. Balint Meszaros finished the game with seven saves.
Nolan McConnell kept the 49ers within striking distance in the first period scoring a goal with five seconds left to make it 5-2. That was the closest the LBSU got to UCLA the rest of the game.
The Bruins went on a 4-0 run that lasted for 10 minutes and 23 seconds until Dan Matulis found the back of the net at 4:43 in the third to make it 9-3.
Matulis and Lappas each scored at 48 seconds and 10 seconds, but it was too little too late as UCLA went on to win 13-8.
LONG BEACH STATE CAN'T OUTLAST TIGERS: The seventh-ranked 49ers couldn't capitalize on opportunities on the offensive end and dropped a heart-breaker to No. 7 Pacific in sudden-victory 14-13 Sunday afternoon at the Campus Pool. Balint Meszaros played the entire match while collecting 13 saves.
Both teams came into the match ranked seventh in the national polls and the match was nothing short of exciting as the game was tied 13 times with just as many lead changes.
From that point on, both teams would exchange goals until Balazs Erdelyi fired a rocket past the 49er defense and goalie Meszaros for the game-winning goal at 1:40 in the second sudden-victory period giving him four goals on the day.
49ERS BY THE NUMBERS: Long Beach State has four players ranked in the top 25 for individual statistics heading into this week's matchups. Milos Vrzic makes his first appearance of the year in the top 25 after scoring five goals on back-to-back weekends for the 49ers.
Vrzic has been the hot hand for the 49ers on the offensive end netting a team-high 12 goals since the start of conference play. The sophomore comes in ranked 22nd in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for the individual statistical category with 33 goals.
Junior Dan Matulis is the lone 49er in the top 10 with 61 goals and goals per game average of 2.35. Matulis is now tied for ninth in goals scored in a single-season and can crack the top 5 if he can net nine goals with three games left to play.
Senior Spencer White is ranked 15th in the MPSF with 51 goals and carries a goals per game average of 1.96. White is currently tied for 18th in school history for goals scored in a single season.
Nolan McConnell continues his freshman campaign scoring three goals against the Bruins and Tigers to push his season total to 32 goals. McConnell ranks just ahead of Vrzic at 21st among scorers around the league.
Sophomore Balint Meszaros recorded his 233rd save against Pacific to tie Mihalis Konstas (01-03) for 12th in career saves. Meszaros is now just four shy of breaking the top 10 for most saves in a single season and 33 saves away from taking sole possession of fifth all-time, surpassing Brian Flint (1985), for saves in a season with Pepperdine, UCI, and UCSB left on the schedule.
The 49ers' 340 goals so far this season is the second-highest team-goal total by Long Beach State since the statistic was kept in 1975. LBSU will easily surpass the 347 mark set by the 2005 squad that was highlighted by Brett McCleave's 73 goals and Thomas Onyshko's single-season saves total of 280.