Oct. 28, 2011
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State women's soccer team secured its sixth Big West Tournament bid in the last seven years with a 2-0 win over UC Davis Friday afternoon at George Allen Field.
The 49ers earned their second consecutive shutout victory, improving to 12-5-1 overall and 5-2-0 in Big West action. It was also eighth-year head coach Mauricio Ingrassia's 90th career win at LBSU. The Aggies, who saw their five-game win streak come to an end, dropped to 11-5-1, 4-2-1 BWC.
Freshman Taylor Nelson scored the game-winner at the 53:44 mark, while senior Nicole Sweetman tacked on an insurance goal just under three minutes later. Junior Nadia Link assisted on both goals, while senior Nicole Hubbard and junior Alex Balcer also finished with a helper.
Senior Kaitlyn Gustaves compiled five saves in her seventh shutout of the year.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half with LBSU owning a 9-to-5 advantage in shot attempts. The 49ers had several good looks with the first coming in the 13th minute when Link's lob shot from the top of the box bounced off the crossbar before being cleared out by the Aggie defense.
Senior Shawna Gordon also sent a rocket from 20 yards out, but it went right into the hands of UC Davis goalkeeper Maria Magana. Long Beach State had another shot hit the post late in the period when Balcer got a head on the ball following a corner kick from Sweetman.
LBSU continued to put the pressure on in the second half and finally broke through at the 53:44 mark when Link sent the ball into the box to Hubbard, who flicked it back to Nelson on the left wing. Nelson was then able to head the ball over Magana to the far post. It was Nelson's first career goal.
Just under three minutes later, Sweetman put the game out of reach with her fifth tally of the season. Balcer sent a long free kick into the box where Link got a foot on it before Sweetman found herself with the ball in a scramble and knocked it to the back of the net.
Long Beach State out shot UC Davis, 18-9, with 10 of its attempts coming on frame. Nelson and Link led the 49ers with four shots each.
Magana totaled eight saves for the Aggies in the loss.
LBSU's seeding for the Big West Tournament will be determined following Sunday's action. A win or tie on Sunday would guarantee the 49ers at least a second-place finish. Long Beach State still has a shot at the regular season title if it wins and UC Irvine loses or ties against UC Riverside.
Long Beach State plays host to Pacific in its regular-season finale at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. LBSU will honor its seven seniors, Sidney Garza, Shawna Gordon, Kaitlyn Gustaves, Nicole Hubbard, Marysol Rosas, Jazz Strozier and Nicole Sweetman, prior to the match.
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