Oct. 8, 2013
The 49er women's soccer team will be returning to George Allen Field for the first time this month following a 2-1 victory at UC Santa Barbara. LBSU will face UC Davis in its Big West home opener on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. (PT).
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
UC Davis (3-5-2, 0-0-0 Big West) will be traveling down south to play in its first conference game of the season. The Aggies are coming off a nearly two-week layoff as they picked up a 1-0 win in their last outing at Pacific on Sept. 27. UCD is averaging just over 11 attempts per game and has put nearly 40 percent of those shots on goal. The team is led by senior Ashley Edwards, who has two goals and four points.
Long Beach State, which was victorious last year against the Aggies, leads the all-time series, 6-3-0. The 49ers have won two in a row, both by way of a shutout. Since the women's soccer program was reinstated in 1998, LBSU owns a 4-0 record against UC Davis at George Allen Field.
IN THE RANKINGS
The 49ers were tied for seventh in the NSCAA West Region poll, but were not ranked in the NSCAA national top-25 (Oct. 8). Long Beach State has appeared in the NSCAA national rankings at least once in each of the last two seasons. LBSU's highest ranking of No. 11 came on Aug. 28, 2012.
HOME SWEET HOME
Over the last eight-plus years, Long Beach State has been dominant at home, compiling an impressive 57-17-8 record (.744) at George Allen Field. The 49ers have won their last four home games.
OSEGUERA ON OFFENSE
Senior Jessika Oseguera made the most of her first start of the year last weekend. Oseguera gave the 49ers an early 1-0 lead at UC Santa Barbara with her first goal of the season, and fourth of her 49er career. The Bellflower native also had a team-high three shots.
MAKING THE MOVE
Junior Taylor Nelson (Garden Grove, Calif.) has made a smooth transition from center midfield to center back in order to help the 49ers fill the gap left by defensive stalwarts and All-Big West selections Alex Balcer and Jordan Nelson (older sister), who both exhausted their eligibility last year. Taylor has anchored the back line, which has registered a 0.78 goals against average over the last nine games, and has also provided some offense for LBSU. Nelson scored the eventual game-winner at UC Santa Barbara and also has one assist this season.
Sophomore Elizabeth Lyons has registered one goal and a team-best five assists this year. The Los Angeles native totaled a career-high five points in a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati with a goal (game-winner) and three helpers. Her three assists tied her for second with Nadia Link in the program's single-game record books. That performance also earned her recognition from College Sports Madness, which tabbed her the Madness Women's Soccer Big West Player of the Week.
RANGEL ON THE RISE
True freshman Mimi Rangel (Chino, Calif.) may be small in stature, but her presence on the field has been huge for the 49ers, especially in big games. Rangel scored the only goal in a 1-0 win vs. No. 11 BYU, which earned her Big West Offensive Player of the Week honors. Rangel was also the catalyst in a dramatic 3-2 triumph at nationally-ranked Texas Tech, notching LBSU's first goal of the season, which evened the score at 1-1 against the Red Raiders, and coming back to net the game-winner with two seconds left in regulation. In addition, Rangel had a career-high two assists in a 2-1 overtime victory at SEC member Auburn. She is tops on the squad with nine points (3 goals, 3 assists).
McCAIN MINDS THE NET
Sophomore goalkeeper Kaci McCain has been key to the 49ers' recent success as she has been in goal in all seven of the team's wins. The Valencia, Calif., native made several crucial stops, including one with three minutes left in regulation to preserve LBSU's 1-0 victory over No. 11 BYU. That performance earned her Big West Defensive Player of the Week accolades. She also had a season-high five saves at Georgia and at Auburn. On the year, McCain has a 7-3-0 record, 31 saves, three shutouts and a 0.90 goals against average.
Long Beach State continues its Big West slate next week with a Black & Blue rivalry game at UC Irvine on Thursday, Oct. 17. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium. The 49ers then return home to host Hawai'i in a 6 p.m. contest on Sunday, Oct. 20.
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