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Long Beach State's magical run comes to an end at No. 3 Duke in NCAA Elite Eight

The 49ers came up short in a 2-0 loss at No. 3 Duke in the NCAA Elite Eight.

Nov. 25, 2011

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DURHAM, N.C. - The Long Beach State women's soccer team's historic run came to an end on Friday evening as it fell to top-seeded and third-ranked Duke, 2-0, in front of 2,192 fans at Koskinen Stadium.

LBSU ended the season with an 18-6-1 overall record, marking the most wins in school history.

"Right now we're hurting a little bit because we were in the game and we felt like we had an outside shot, especially getting into the half with good energy and feeling strong about ourselves," head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. "It's disappointing to not get the result today, but Duke is a fantastic team. I wouldn't be surprised if they are playing for a national championship next Sunday.

"So, I'm very proud of my team, very proud of my seniors and very proud of everybody, especially the kids back home. They made history."

Prior to their loss in the NCAA Elite Eight, the 49ers had won a program-record eight consecutive games with seven of those coming by way of a shutout. LBSU had not allowed a goal in 544 minutes until Duke found the back of the net at the 66:28 mark.

The Blue Devils won the battle in shot attempts, 16-3, but Long Beach State owned a 5-to-1 edge in corner kicks. Freshmen Taylor Nelson and Sarah Dryden, and senior Nicole Hubbard finished with one attempt each. Senior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Gustaves had three saves.

"It's hard being on the losing end of it, but I'm so proud of the way we played," Gustaves said. "The biggest thing for any team is just believing in yourself and I think we really did. I'm just really proud of my team."

The two squads battled to a scoreless tie in the first half as Duke held a 5-1 shot advantage over LBSU.

In the 22nd minute, Kelly Cobb came close to scoring for the home team as her line drive shot from five yards out hit the crossbar and bounced in front of the goal before the 49er backline was able to clear the ball out.

Duke (21-3-1) eventually struck in the 67th minute when Kim DeCesare scored on a header off a cross from Mollie Pathman. The Blue Devils tacked on another goal seven minutes later as Gilda Doria dribbled around several Long Beach State defenders before firing a shot to the left netting from 25 yards out.

In the opening minutes of the second period, junior Nadia Link received a corner kick from classmate Jordan Nelson and was within striking distance but the 49ers were called for being offsides.

In the 57th minute, senior Shawna Gordon also had a good look when she came charging into the box on a breakaway, but her shot from 15 yards out was saved by Duke goalkeeper Tara Campbell.

Cobb led the Blue Devils, who advanced to next week's NCAA College Cup, with a game-high five attempts.

Long Beach State finished the best season in program history with a school-record 49 goals, 52 assists and 150 points. In their third postseason appearance, the 49ers not only won their first NCAA Tournament game, but also became the first team in Big West Conference history to move on to the Elite Eight.



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