Nov. 20, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Freshman Ashley Roese made her first career goal one to remember as she scored the game-winner in the 56th minute to put the 21st-ranked Long Beach State women's soccer team in the NCAA Elite Eight with a 1-0 victory over San Diego on a rainy Sunday afternoon at UCLA's Drake Stadium.
The 49ers continued their historic season as they have now not only won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game, but have also advanced to the Elite Eight in just their third postseason appearance.
LBSU has also shattered the program's single-season records for victories (18), goals (49), assists (52) and points (150).
"I have a fantastic team," Long Beach State head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. "Together we came up with a game plan that was different than anything we've done all year. I really want to give credit to my staff, Lucas, Jeff, Anton, Sebastian and Lindsay, because we put our heads together and made some (position) moves behind the scenes.
"I also want to give credit to San Diego and Ada Greenwood as they had a fantastic season. He is a great friend of mine and we both knew it was going to be a war. The conditions were not ideal, but that's soccer."
With the win, Long Beach State improved to 18-5-1 overall and extended its season-long winning streak to eight games. That streak is also a school record, eclipsing the previous best of six games which the 2008 and 2010 squads initially established.
It marked the second time this year that the 49ers defeated San Diego, which advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over No. 2 UCLA in penalty kicks.
Roese found the back of the net on LBSU's first shot of the second half. She delivered the game-winner at the 56-minute mark when she worked to get free in the box before scoring from close range in a one-on-one situation with USD goalkeeper Courtney Parsons. In addition to her first career goal, Roese also finished with a career-high two shots.
Senior Kaitlyn Gustaves registered two saves en route to her fifth consecutive shutout and 12th of the year. Gustaves and the 49er back line, which have blanked their opponents in seven of the last eight games, have not allowed a goal in 477 minutes.
It was an evenly played first half that saw five attempts for San Diego and three for Long Beach State. Both teams finished with one shot on goal, while the Toreros held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
The 49ers didn't waste any time in making their offensive presence felt as senior Nicole Hubbard fired off a shot at the 1:53 mark that was saved by Parsons. The Toreros, whose first shot of the game came in the 17th minute, then had three unanswered attempts before senior Shawna Gordon and Link both sent the ball wide of the post as the two teams went into intermission in a scoreless tie.
San Diego (12-8-2) started off the second period with an attempt from Stephanie Ochs that sailed high, but Roese struck just six and a half minutes later. LBSU's defense continued to lock down on the Toreros as the 49ers outshot USD, 4-2, the rest of the way.
"I'm really proud of my team, they are the ones that deserve all the credit because they got it done," Ingrassia said. "Nicole Hubbard played a monster game and she is a huge leader for us."
The Toreros came close to tying it up in the 84th minute when Natalie Garcia's shot hit the crossbar. They finished with nine attempts and were led by Ochs, who had a game-high three shots.
Long Beach State is set for an NCAA Elite Eight match-up with top-seeded and third-ranked Duke on Friday, Nov. 25. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. (PST) at Duke's Koskinen Stadium.
LONG BEACH STATE NOTES
- Long Beach State advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in school history.
- It is the first time a Big West Conference school has moved on to the NCAA Elite Eight as Cal State Fullerton (2005) and UC Irvine (2010) are the only other programs to have reached the Sweet 16.
- This is the 49ers' third NCAA Tournament appearance. They also earned a bid in 2008 and 2010 when they lost in the first round to San Diego and Santa Clara, respectively.
- LBSU has not allowed a goal in the NCAA Tournament this year and currently owns a streak of 477:44 scoreless minutes.
- Long Beach State is one of just three schools that have yet to allow a goal in the NCAA Tournament. The other two programs are top-ranked Stanford and No. 8 Virginia.
- Three different 49ers have found the back of the net in each of Long Beach State's 1-0 victories. Nadia Link scored her team-leading 16th goal of the season at No. 7 Pepperdine, Kelsey Wilson netted her second goal of the year against Miami and Ashley Roese's first career goal came against San Diego.
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