Oct. 15, 2013
The Long Beach State women's soccer team starts this week's action with a short trek to UC Irvine for a Black & Blue Rivalry game on Thursday, Oct. 17. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Anteater Stadium. The 49ers will then return to George Allen Field to begin the second half of conference play as they entertain Hawai'i in a 6 p.m. contest on Sunday, Oct. 20.
BIG WEST SNAPSHOT
As the halfway point of the conference season approaches, Long Beach State has four points and is tied for fifth with Cal State Fullerton in the Big West standings. UC Irvine, Cal Poly and UC Riverside are tied for first with nine points each, while UC Santa Barbara is fourth with six points. Hawai'i is also right behind the 49ers with three points. The top four teams qualify for the Big West Tournament which will be held in Fullerton.
SCOUTING THE ANTEATERS
UC Irvine (8-5-0, 3-1-0 BWC) has bounced back from a 1-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara in its Big West opener with three-straight conference wins. Last weekend, the Anteaters defeated UC Riverside and UC Davis to move into a tie for first in the Big West standings. Laura McGrail has paced the offense with a team-high five goals and 13 points. Corey Tobin and Jenn Randazzo have split time at goalkeeper, combining for 40 saves, five shutouts and a 1.31 goals against average.
Since 1998, Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with UC Irvine, 11-4-2. The last 10 meetings have resulted in a shutout for one of the two teams, including a scoreless tie in 2008. Last year, the Anteaters edged the 49ers, 1-0, at George Allen Field with a penalty kick in the final minute of the second overtime (Oct. 20, 2012). LBSU's last two wins in the series also came by way of a 1-0 score in the 2010 and 2011 Big West Tournament championship games.
A GLANCE AT HAWAI'I
Hawai'i (6-7-0, 1-3-0 BWC) earned a split last weekend, defeating UC Santa Barbara, before dropping a 3-2 double-overtime thriller to Cal Poly. Tiana Fujimoto leads the team and ranks second in the Big West with eight goals, five of which have been game-winners. Monk Berger has seen most of the action in between the pipes, registering 32 saves, four shutouts and a 1.24 goals against average.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Hawai'i, 4-2-1. The 49ers have won the last four meetings and have outscored the Rainbow Wahine, 16-5, during that stretch. Last year, LBSU routed UH, 5-0, at George Allen Field (Oct. 26, 2012).
HOME SWEET HOME
Over the last eight-plus years, Long Beach State has been dominant at home, compiling an impressive 57-17-9 record (.741) at George Allen Field. The 49ers are unbeaten in their last five home games (4-0-1).
A RARE TIE
Long Beach State recorded just its second tie in three years when it battled UC Davis to a 1-1 draw on Thursday, Oct. 10. The last time the 49ers went the full 110 minutes was another 1-1 deadlock at San Diego State on Sept. 11, 2011.
SECOND HALF, STRONG HALF
Long Beach State has been a second-half team this season, scoring 11 of its 14 goals in the second period. The 49ers have gone into intermission locked in a scoreless tie in nine of their 13 games.
Sophomore Elizabeth Lyons registered her second goal of the season in a 1-1 tie against UC Davis. After the Aggies struck in the 70th minute, Lyons came right back with the equalizer just 26 seconds later. The Los Angeles native also totaled a career-high five points in a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati with a goal (game-winner) and three assists. That performance earned her recognition from College Sports Madness, which tabbed her the Madness Women's Soccer Big West Player of the Week. Lyons is tops on the team with five assists and ranks second with nine points.
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 10 points (3 goals, 4 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 has also notched a season-high five saves three times, most recently in a 1-1 tie against UC Davis. On the year, McCain has a 7-3-1 record, 36 saves, three shutouts and a 0.89 goals against average.
Long Beach State is back on the road next week, traveling to Cal State Northridge for a 7 p.m. Big West showdown on Friday, Oct. 25.
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