LONG BEACH STATE TRAVELS TO UCONN, ST. JOHN’S THIS WEEK
The Long Beach State women’s soccer team continues its road swing with a pair of matches at UConn and St. John’s this week. The Beach take on the Huskies on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. (PT), before going up against the Red Storm on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. (PT). Sunday’s match at St. John’s will be on ESPN3.
IN THE RANKINGS
Long Beach State is unranked and owns a 4-3-1 overall record after one month of action this season.
Neither UConn nor St. John’s are ranked in this week’s poll. UConn started the year ranked 14th in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, but after compiling a 2-3-2 record have dropped out of the rankings. St. John’s owns a 4-2-1 overall record this season.
In the first four weeks of the season, Long Beach State has faced three schools featured in the Top 25 in then-No. 9 UCLA, then-No. 22 Northwestern and then-No. 25 Cal. Against ranked teams, LBSU is 1-2-0.
GETTING READY FOR BIG WEST ACTION
This week marks the final two non-conference matches of the regular season for Long Beach State. The Beach will close out the week on the East Coast with matches at UConn and St. John’s before returning to George Allen Field to kick off Big West Conference play.
The Beach start league action with Hawaii on Sunday, October 1 at 6 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State outshot Loyola Marymount on the Lions’ home field, but the Beach came up just short as they dropped a 2-0 decision to LMU on Sunday.
The Beach was led offensively by Katie Pingel who had five shots in the game and recorded two shots on goal. However, LBSU was unable to hit the back of the net, while the Lions squeaked two goals past Imani McDonald in the second half to earn the win.
Long Beach State controlled the first half as the Beach tallied eight shots, while limiting the Lions to just two. They also kept LMU from taking a shot until the 43rd minute of action.
In the second half, the Lions managed to get on the board in the 61st minute of play to break the 0-0 draw. They tacked on another goal at 76:20 to go on and win by a score of 2-0.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
UConn brings a 2-3-2 overall record into the match against Long Beach State. The Huskies are riding a three-match unbeaten streak after having defeated Central Connecticut (3-0) and Arkansas (2-1), before playing to a 2-2 draw at Fordham.
This season the Huskies’ offense has scored eight goals on the year and Kess Elmore is responsible for five of them. Elmore is the team’s leading scorer as she has tallied five goals on 14 shots for 10 points. Two of her scores have been game-winners.
In goal, Mollie Kerrigan has played all seven matches and has collected 31 saves, while owning a 1.06 goals against average.
SERIES RECORD VS. UCONN
UConn and Long Beach State are meeting for just the second time in program history. In their only previous meeting, the Huskies defeated the Beach, 5-0, in Storrs, Conn., in 2003.
SCOUTING THE RED STORM
St. John’s, which owns a 4-2-1 overall record, is looking to get back on the winning track after dropping a 2-1 contest to Lehigh last week.
The Red Storm are led offensively by Christina Bellero who has four goals and two assists for 10 points on 23 shots. Of her 23 shots, 17 of them have been on target.
In goal, Jordan Kamp has seen action in six games this season with 22 saves and a 1.25 goals against average, while Antonio Tammaro has played in one game and has earned four saves.
SERIES RECORD VS. ST. JOHN’S
St. John’s and Long Beach State will go head-to-head for the first time in program history when they meet on Sunday, September 17 at 9 a.m. (PT).
150 AND COUNTING
Long Beach State head coach Mauricio Ingrassia hit a huge milestone with his team’s 3-0 win over San Diego last week. With the win, Ingrassia collected his 150th career victory.
In 14th years at the helm, Ingrassia has averaged 10 victories per season and is the winningest coach in Long Beach State women’s soccer history.
Since his arrival in 2004, the Beach has developed not only into a perennial powerhouse in the Big West, but also into a national contender.
Ingrassia has led Long Beach State to four Big West regular season championships, three Big West Tournament titles and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including an unprecedented run to the Elite Eight in 2011.
He has also guided LBSU to nine 10-plus win campaigns, including last season’ 10-7-4 showing.
Defender/forward Kaitlin Fregulia has started her sophomore campaign on a tear. The Torrance, Calif., native has started in all eight matches for the Beach and has recorded three points with one goal and one assist. If her offensive skills weren’t enough, Fregulia has also excelled on defense helping Long Beach State record four shutout victories over nationally-ranked Northwestern (2-0), at San Diego State (2-0), against Dartmouth (1-0), and most recently versus San Diego (3-0). Her efforts earned her LBSU Athlete of the Week on August 28.
KATE THE GREAT
Sophomore transfer Katie Pingel has made the most of her first year at Long Beach State thus far. In the first month of the season, she leads the Beach with two goals, one assist, five points and 18 shots, with eight shots on target. Most recently, she rattled off a career-high five shots at Loyola Marymount. She has stepped up to become a leader on the field guiding the LBSU offense.
Freshman Ayana Robles has netted two game-winning goals in her rookie season to lead the Beach. Robles notched her first collegiate score against Dartmouth to lift LBSU over the Big Green, marking Dartmouth’s first loss of the year. She came back two games later and earned the start against San Diego and went on to score the eventual game-winner in a 3-0 victory of the Toreros.
Senior forward Tori Bolden has been a key component to Long Beach State’s four victories this season. In the Beach’s first win of the year against then-No. 22 Northwestern, Bolden collected her first assist of the season. Three days later at San Diego State, she connected on her first goal of the year, the eventual game-winner. She followed that performance with the game-winning pass to Ayana Robles against Dartmouth and went on to score her team-leading third assist of the season in LBSU’s 3-0 victory over San Diego.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Beach will play nine of their 18 regular season games at George Allen Field. This is good news for Long Beach State fans as the Beach has been dominant at home over the last 13 seasons, compiling an impressive 84-29-20 record (.707) at George Allen Field.
FOR THE RECORD
Long Beach State boasts three different current student-athletes who have broken into the Top 10 record book at LBSU. Most recently, Imani McDonald found her way into the 10th place spot after having collected three straight shutouts to bring her career total to 5.2.
In addition to McDonald, senior Jessica Vincent made her way onto the all-time assists list with 13 career helpers to come in 10th in program history. Vincent, along with Tori Bolden, Kaitlin Fregulia and Ayana Robles, is just two game-winning goals away from breaking into the top 10 in that category.
Lastly, Ashley Gonzales’ name comes up quite often in the LBSU record book. The senior forward is ranked second in game-winning goals (13), fourth in goals (29), fifth in shots (160) and sixth in points (64).
STANDING ROOM ONLY
In the game against then-No. 9 UCLA, Long Beach State boasted a crowd of 1,912 which marked the second-highest all-time attendance in program history. Even more impressive, the Beach were represented by a school-record 703 students in attendance which more than doubled the previous student attendance record of 340.
BWC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior goalkeeper Imani McDonald was named Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week during week three. The product out of Long Beach, Calif., logged 180 minutes of action in net and collected six saves, while not allowing any goals. She kept nationally-ranked Northwestern off the board as the Wildcats were limited to just six shots with one on target. The following game, she shutdown San Diego State’s offense on the road as she grabbed five saves in the win. The Big West Conference Awarded her Defensive Player of the Week, marking the first time she has earned the nod in her career.
BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL
For the second year in a row, Long Beach State was picked to finish first in the 2017 Big West Women’s Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll. The Beach, which is coming off its third Big West Tournament championship and sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, received eight first-place votes and 78 total points to top the list.
Cal State Fullerton claimed second with 63 points, while UC Santa Barbara took third with 59 points. UC Irvine picked up the remaining first-place vote and was chosen to place fourth. Rounding out the five, six, and seven spots, respectively, were CSUN (50 points), Cal Poly (34 points), and UC Davis (32 points). UC Riverside collected 21 points for an eighth-place finish, while Hawaii rounded out the poll in ninth with 15 points.
Gonzales, the 2016 Big West Offensive Player of the Year, is the highest ranked Big West student-athlete as she comes in at No. 21. Froment, who is ranked 36th, is coming off of an impressive rookie season in which she was named 2016 Big West Freshman of the Year. The duo was selected to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team.
Following Long Beach State’s three-match road swing, the Beach will return to George Allen Field to open up Big West Conference action on Sunday, Oct. 1 against Hawaii at 6 p.m.
The match against Hawaii kicks off the conference portion of the schedule in which Long Beach State will play eight straight league games before defending the Big West Conference Tournament Title.
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