Senior Vania Robles’ tally in the 66th minute was the difference for the Beach.
Program seeking fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance
49ers will take on the 18th-ranked Broncos on Saturday
49ers face a must-win situation with Big West Tournament spot on the line
49ers look to break single-game attendance record this weekend
Long Beach State soccer has developed into a national contender under the direction of 13th-year head coach Mauricio Ingrassia. After the program was reinstated in 1998, the Beach did not have a winning season until Ingrassia took the reins, and since his first year in 2004, LBSU has won either a Big West regular season or tournament title six times, made five NCAA Tournament appearances and set the school record for wins three times.
Ingrassia, who has led the 49ers to 10 winning campaigns, has compiled an impressive 136-83-29 overall record in his 12 years at the helm.
Last year, Ingrassia guided Long Beach State to its fourth Big West regular season title and fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight years. The Beach also advanced to the conference tournament final for the second-straight season. LBSU opened the campaign on a high note, defeating No. 4 UCLA in front of a record crowd of 2,232 at George Allen Field. The 49ers also stepped up to the challenge of a tough road schedule as they defeated No. 21 DePaul, while playing San Diego, USC and Cincinnati to a tie. Long Beach State continued its strong play in Big West action, winning its first three games and going 6-2-0 to claim a share of the title. The Beach finished the year at 12-7-3 overall, marking its eighth double-digit win campaign in Ingrassia's tenure. Six 49ers earned All-Big West honors and three went on to garner NSCAA All-West Region accolades.
In 2014, LBSU went 8-7-6 overall and 4-2-2 in Big West play to finish third in the regular-season standings. The Beach then upset second-seeded Cal Poly on their home field in the Big West Tournament semifinals by playing to a 0-0 draw before advancing to the championship match on penalty kicks. It was Long Beach State's fourth appearance in the conference finals since 2008. Ingrassia saw his athletes earn multiple postseason awards as the 49ers claimed four of the major Big West honors with Taylor Nelson being tabbed the league's defensive player of the year, Mimi Rangel the midfielder of the year, Ashton McKeown the goalkeeper of the year and Ashley Gonzales the freshman of the year. Rangel, Nelson and McKeown were also first-team All-Big West selections, while Gonzales received second-team recognition. In addition, Gonzales and Jessica Vincent were named to the Big West All-Freshman Team. Gonzales, McKeown, Nelson and Rangel went on to earn NSCAA All-West Region honors, while Gonzales was also a Soccer America Freshman All-American.
In 2013, Long Beach State went 8-7-3 despite a roster that featured 12 true freshmen, seven of whom earned multiple starts. The Beach picked up big wins at No. 23 Texas Tech and against 11th-ranked BYU. Mimi Rangel was tabbed the Big West Freshman of the Year, while she was also a first-team all-conference selection.
In 2012, Ingrassia reached a milestone as he notched his 100th career victory with a 2-1 win over Michigan. The 49ers also picked up key non-conference wins over Baylor and San Diego to help them earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. It was LBSU's third-straight postseason appearance. Long Beach State closed out the campaign with a 12-8-0 record. Nadia Link garnered All-America and Big West Offensive Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. Link and Alex Balcer were also All-West Region selections, while Ingrassia saw seven of his players named to the all-conference team.
In 2011, the Beach finished with an 18-6-1 overall record in what was the greatest season in program history. The 49ers claimed their second-straight Big West Tournament title and advanced deep into the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight with victories over No. 7 Pepperdine, Miami and San Diego. LBSU also shattered the single-season school record for wins (18), goals (49), assists (52) and points (150). Nadia Link, who tied the individual single-season school record with 16 goals, became the first player in program history to earn NSCAA All-America honors. Link was joined by Shawna Gordon and Alex Balcer on the NSCAA All-West Region Team. In addition, Link and Gordon highlighted six 49ers on the all-conference team as they were tabbed the Big West Offensive Player of the Year and Big West Midfielder of the Year, respectively.
After being picked to finish sixth in the 2010 Big West Preseason Poll, Long Beach State exceeded expectations, claiming the program's first Big West Tournament title to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Beach tied the school's previous win record, finishing with a 14-6-2 mark, and was second in the Big West regular-season standings at 5-2-1. Lindsay Bullock was named the Big West Midfielder of the Year for the second time in her career, while Bullock, Shawna Gordon and Nadia Link were first-team all-conference selections. Bullock, Gordon and Bo Rael were also named to the NSCAA All-West Region Team.
Ingrassia wasted no time in building the LBSU program as his first recruiting class, which was ranked 15th in the nation, quickly paid dividends, going 12-5-3 in 2005. Hayley Bolt was named the Big West Conference co-Freshman of the Year and joined Kim Silos as a Soccer Buzz Freshman All-American, firsts for the program, as were the national and regional rankings during the season. Even more impressive was the fact that upwards of eight freshmen were starters.
A year older in 2006, the squad broke the school record for victories in a season, going 14-5-1 and winning the franchise's first Big West regular-season title. The Beach also established itself in the top-25, remaining there for a good portion of the season. The defensive unit ranked 19th in the nation in goals against average (0.64). Hayley Bolt was named the league's midfielder of the year, while Kim Silos was the offensive player of the year. Both players earned all-region honors, another first for the program.
In 2007, Long Beach State won its second consecutive Big West title after posting a 5-2-0 mark in conference action. Despite outshooting Cal Poly 21-to-3 in the Big West Tournament semifinals, the 49ers fell by a single goal.
In 2008, LBSU went 14-5-4 and established then school records in goals (44), assists (37), points (125) and shots (326). The record-breaking campaign, which saw the Beach go undefeated in league play at 7-0-1, culminated in the program's third-straight Big West regular season title, its first appearance in the conference tournament finals and its first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Long Beach State racked up the postseason awards as Ingrassia was recognized as the Big West Coach of the Year, Lindsay Bullock was named the conference's midfielder of the year, and Liz Ramos earned top goalkeeper honors. In addition, the 49ers placed 10 student-athletes on the All-Big West team, with Bullock and Hayley Bolt also being All-West Region selections.
Ingrassia has mentored a handful of 49ers who have been recognized internationally. Nadia Link was invited to the United States' U-23 National Team Camp in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012. Shawna Gordon also attended the U-20 National Team Camp in the spring of 2009, while Hayley Bolt was invited to train with the U-20 National Team during the spring of 2005. Jenn Brooks and Mariko Strickland were also invited to the Australian National Team camp in 2007.
In addition, Ingrassia's players have been extremely successful in the classroom as they have boasted one CoSIDA Academic All-American, eight CoSIDA Academic All-District selections and 68 Big West All-Academic picks.
Prior to Long Beach State, Ingrassia won five state titles at Long Beach City College, the most by any coach in California history (1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003). The Vikings finished the season ranked in the nation's top-five in five of his final seven years, including a No. 1 ranking in 2002 and 2003. Overall, Ingrassia went 184-24-8 (.870), and ended on a 55-game unbeaten streak which began in October, 2001.
From 2000-03, the Vikings went an astounding 95-3-1 (.965), starting with a 25-2-0 record in 2000, followed by marks of 24-1-0, and 24-0-1. In 2003 they went 22-0-0.
LBCC won five South Coast Conference titles and made the playoffs eight times. The Vikings earned their first playoff berth in school history in 1996.
During Ingrassia's tenure at LBCC, the Vikings had three national players of the year (2000, 2002, 2003), nine All-Americans, 13 all-region selections and numerous all-conference honors. Six players were also named the South Coast Conference Athlete of the Year.
In addition to his players' accolades, Ingrassia was named the NSCAA/Adidas Junior College National Coach of the Year in 2003, and was tabbed the conference's top coach three times (1997, 2000, 2003), as well as California State Coach of the Year five times. Ingrassia holds a USSF National "A" Coaching License.
Ingrassia graduated from Cal State Fullerton in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and earned his master's in education at Azusa Pacific in 1998. Ingrassia's playing days included two years at San Diego State (1989-1991) and another with the Titans (1993). Ingrassia is married to Barbara, and has one daughter, Madison.
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