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LBSU set to entertain UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly in Big West action this weekend

The 49ers will host UC Santa Barbara in their Big West home opener on Friday before entertaining Cal Poly on Sunday.

Oct. 2, 2012

UC Santa Barbara (3-7-2, 0-1-1 BWC) at
Long Beach State (8-4-0, 1-1-0 BWC)
Friday, Oct. 5
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: George Allen Field
Follow the 49ers: Live Stats

Cal Poly (5-5-1, 2-0-0 BWC) at
Long Beach State (8-4-0, 1-1-0 BWC)
Sunday, Oct. 7
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: George Allen Field
Follow the 49ers: Live Stats

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The Last Meeting
Long Beach State2  
UC Santa Barbara1ot
September 30, 2011
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Gordon converts on penalty kick to give 49ers 2-1 overtime victory at UCSB
Senior Shawna Gordon connected on a penalty kick just under one minute into the first overtime period to give the Long Beach State women's soccer team a dramatic 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara in both squads' Big West Conference opener Friday evening at Harder Stadium.

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State6
Cal Poly0
October 2, 2011
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
LBSU women's soccer topples Cal Poly, 6-0, for fifth-straight win
The Long Beach State women's soccer team stayed hot as it extended its win streak to five games with a commanding 6-0 triumph over Cal Poly Sunday afternoon at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

The Long Beach State women's soccer team returns to the friendly confines of George Allen Field this weekend as it plays host to UC Santa Barbara in its Big West home opener at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5. The 49ers will also entertain Cal Poly in a 3 p.m. tilt on Sunday, Oct. 7.

UC Santa Barbara (3-7-2, 0-1-1 BWC) dropped a 2-1 decision to UC Davis before battling Pacific to a 3-3 tie in the first weekend of Big West play. The Gauchos are 1-3-1 in their last five outings with their most recent win coming against Weber State on Sept. 16. Sara Feder leads UCSB with three goals, while Madison Beckley and Miranda Cornejo each have two. Makenna Henry has manned the net for UC Santa Barbara with 63 saves and a 1.52 goals against average.

Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara are tied in the all-time series, 10-10-1, but the 49ers have come out on top in each of the last two meetings. In 2011, LBSU converted a penalty kick in overtime for the 2-1 victory in Santa Barbara. Two years ago, Long Beach State prevailed 3-1 at George Allen Field.

Cal Poly (5-5-1, 2-0-0 BWC) enters the weekend tied for first in the Big West as it defeated Pacific, 4-1, and UC Davis, 1-0, last weekend. Elise Krieghoff has powered the Mustang offense with six goals, three of which came in the team's two conference wins, while Cici Kobinski has been the primary playmaker with four assists. Alyssa Giannetti has seen most of the action between the posts, registering 71 saves, two shutouts and a 1.70 goals against average.

Long Beach State trails in its series with Cal Poly, 8-5-3. The 49ers routed the Mustangs, 6-0, in the most recent meeting in San Luis Obispo (2011). Nadia Link had one goal and two assists, while Ashley Roese added a pair of helpers. The last time the two teams met at George Allen Field was in 2010 when the contest ended in a 1-1 tie.

The 49ers were receiving votes (No. 27) in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll released on Oct. 2. LBSU had appeared in the top-25 in every NSCAA poll this year up until this week. Long Beach State had a high ranking of No. 11 on Aug. 28. It also came in at No. 16 in the second NCAA Women's Soccer RPI rankings (Oct. 1).

Ninth-year head coach Mauricio Ingrassia registered career win No. 100 with the 49ers' 2-1 victory over Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 2. Ingrassia, who has led LBSU to six 10-plus win seasons, owns a career record of 104-58-17. Over the last six years, Ingrassia's teams have proved themselves to be one of the Big West's and NCAA's elite, claiming three regular season conference championships (2006-08), two Big West Tournament titles (2010-11) and making three NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2011, Ingrassia led Long Beach State to the NCAA Elite Eight after capturing a second consecutive Big West Tournament title and notching the program's first postseason victory at No. 7 Pepperdine. The 49ers also earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 and 2010.

Long Beach State is two victories away from reaching the 10-win plateau for the seventh time in the last eight years. In 2011, the 49ers registered a school-record 18 wins, eclipsing the previous high of 14, which the 2006, 2008 and 2010 squads had established.

LBSU put its depth on display last weekend with six different players finding the back of the net in a pair of Big West games. Senior Nadia Link notched her team-leading fifth goal of the season, while classmate Shannon Bullock scored her first of the year and second of her career. Junior Kassidy Hause, sophomores Kristyn Benavidez and Renee Mendiola, and freshman Hannah Sanders also connected for their first career goals. On the year, the 49ers have had 13 players account for 22 goals.

Even with all eyes on her, once All-American Nadia Link gets going, she is nearly unstoppable. The senior forward has a team-high 16 points, 11 of which were compiled in two games. Link registered her first career hat trick in a 3-2 overtime win against North Texas (six points) and finished with one goal and a career-best three assists in a 5-1 victory at UC Riverside (five points). The Walnut, Calif., native also scored against Michigan, had two helpers vs. Texas Tech and one assist against Saint Francis.

Freshman Elizabeth Lyons registered her first career goal on Sept. 21, netting the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over San Diego. Lyons, who has consistently put pressure up top with her speed, finally broke through on her 15th attempt of the season. The Los Angeles native also has two assists on the year.

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Marrina Meyers was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 24. The Vista, Calif., native earned her first weekly award after compiling six saves and picking up her third shutout in a 1-0 victory over San Diego (Sept. 21). On the season, Meyers has 57 saves and a 1.23 goals against average, which ranks third in the Big West.

Junior Eileen Maes accounted for three of the 49ers' four goals in their two games at the Under Armour Invitational, Sept. 14-16. The Oakland, Calif., native scored twice in a narrow 3-2 double-overtime loss to Texas Tech and came back two days later to register what proved to be the game-winner in the 69th minute of a 2-0 victory over Army. Maes was named to the Under Armour Invitational All-Tournament Team and was also tabbed the Big West Offensive Player of the Week for her effort. On the season, she has compiled four goals, three assists and 11 points.

Senior Alex Balcer earned Big West Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors and was named a College Soccer 360 Primetime Performer after leading the 49ers to wins over Saint Francis (Aug. 24) and No. 24 Baylor (Aug. 26). Balcer was also selected as one of 30 national candidates for the 2012 Women's Soccer Senior CLASS Award on Sept. 18. In her three-plus year career, Balcer has been an All-Big West selection, Big West Tournament MVP and NSCAA All-West Region pick. Off the field, the Tucson, Ariz., native is majoring in biology-physiology and has earned numerous academic awards. In addition to being a two-time Big West All-Academic selection, she has also been named to the NSCAA Women's College Scholar All-America Team (2011) and to the CoSIDA/ESPN All-Academic District 8 Third Team (2010).

Nadia Link is tied for third among the 49er all-time leaders with 29 career goals. She needs just five more to eclipse the 26-year old school record of 33, which is held by Janet Fettig (1984-86). Link is also among LBSU's top-10 in game-winning goals (2nd, 12), shots (4th, 174), points (4th, 75) and assists (6th, 17).

Dating back to last year, Long Beach State has won 12-straight home games at George Allen Field. LBSU's last home loss came vs. California on Sept. 9, 2011. Since 2004, the 49ers have been quite comfortable when playing at George Allen Field as they own a 48-14-11 record during the eight-plus year span.

LBSU is tops in the Big West in points (63), goals (22) and assists (19), and ranks second in the conference with 176 shot attempts. Individually, Nadia Link leads all players in the Big West with 44 shots, 16 points and six assists. She is also tied for third with five goals.

Long Beach State has reached double figures in shot attempts 10 times this year and has twice fired off more than 20 shots. It had a season-high 25 attempts in a 2-0 triumph over Saint Francis and also had 22 in a 3-2 overtime win vs. North Texas.

Long Beach State is back on the road for a pair of Big West games next weekend when it heads to UC Davis (Oct. 12) and Pacific (Oct. 14).



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