Sept. 28, 2012
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The 21st-ranked Long Beach State women's soccer team used a second-half outburst to post a dominating 5-1 win over UC Riverside in its Big West Conference opener Friday evening at UCR Soccer Stadium.
LBSU, which earned its third-straight victory, improved to 8-3-0 overall and 1-0-0 in Big West action.
The 49ers tied the school's single-game record with six assists, while their five second-half goals were also a program best.
Long Beach State outshot the Highlanders, 15-to-4, and held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Senior Nadia Link led the way with one goal on a game-high four attempts, moving her into a tie for third among LBSU's all-time leaders with 29 career goals.
Link also had a career-best three helpers, which ranks second in school history behind Shawna Gordon, who had four assists in a 6-0 win over Saint Mary's on Sept. 18, 2011.
Junior Kassidy Hause, and sophomores Kristyn Benavidez and Renee Mendiola, all connected for their first career goals, while senior Shannon Bullock also found the back of the net. Senior Kelsey Wilson added two assists and freshman Elizabeth Lyons finished with one helper.
Benavidez broke a scoreless tie at the 49:44 mark when she struck from 15 yards out. Link then put the 49ers up, 2-0, just over a minute later as she took a pass from Wilson on the right side and scored from inside the box. It was Link's team-leading fifth goal of the season.
After UC Riverside (5-5-2, 0-1-0, BWC) cut the deficit in half in the 61st minute, LBSU responded with three unanswered goals. The onslaught began at the 66:05 mark when Wilson's pass into the box was deflected by Link and headed in by Mendiola.
In the 74th minute, Link was again on the front end of the play, sending the ball to Lyons on the right side, who found Bullock in the box. Bullock was then able to convert in a one-on-one situation with UCR goalkeeper Jessica White.
Hause also got into the action nearly five minutes later when she connected from 14 yards out on a cross from Link.
Although there was no score in the first half, LBSU controlled the action, firing off six shots, while holding the Highlanders without an attempt. The 49ers also won the battle in corner kicks, 3-0.
Tyler Cunningham scored UC Riverside's lone goal on an assist from Andrea Luttio.
Long Beach State continues its Big West slate at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, Sept. 30. Kick-off is set for 5 p.m. at Titan Stadium.
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