Third-Seeded Long Beach State Topples No. 2 Hawai'i in OT to Advance to Big West Championship Game
LBSU battles No. 1 Seed UC Irvine for the conference title tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Davis, Calif. - Coming off an overtime win against UC Santa Barbara yesterday, Long Beach State faced off against Hawai'i today at 3 p.m. in the semifinals. It was a back-and-forth game throughout regulation which resulted in the Beach's third overtime game in its last four contests. LBSU played stellar defense in OT and Alexandra Massier scored late in the first overtime period to propel Long Beach State past the Rainbow Wahine.
The Beach was in complete control in the opening period. Tori Morrissey got things started with an even-strength goal a little over three minutes into the game. Raney Remme followed with a power play goal only 45 seconds later to give LBSU a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
It was a high-scoring affair in the second. Hawai'i scored three goals in the first four minutes of the period to take a 3-2 lead. But the Beach would respond with goals from Christina Kotsia and Virginia Smith, both assisted by Annabel Harman. The Rainbow Wahine struck for one more score with about 1:30 left in the half but LBSU would answer with 45 seconds remaining to take a 5-4 advantage into the break.
Hawai'i scored the lone goal of the third period about four minutes in to tie the game up at 5-5 going into the final period of regulation.
The two teams were evenly matched in the fourth. Christina Kotsia scored the first goal of the period for Long Beach State but the Rainbow Wahine answered with two scores to take a 7-6 lead with 2:55 remaining. The Beach would respond only 30 seconds later as Tori Morrissey poured in a shot from the perimeter to send the game to overtime tied at 7-7.
Both teams had opportunities to score early in the first overtime period but neither could convert until Alexandra Massier scored from the two-meter area with only 15 seconds remaining to give LBSU an 8-7 lead going into the second three-minute OT period.
Long Beach State gave Hawai'i a couple of power play opportunities down the stretch but the defense didn't break as the Beach was able to keep the Rainbow Wahine off the board and capture the semifinal victory by a score of 8-7.
Goalie Eirini Patras turned in an outstanding effort as she finished with 14 saves and two steals to anchor the defense.
Long Beach State will face off against top-seeded UC Irvine tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Big West Championship game with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
No. 3 Long Beach State -- 2, 3, 0, 2, 1, 0 | 8
No. 2 Hawai'i -- 0, 4, 1, 2, 0, 0 | 7
Long Beach State: Kotsia 2, Morrissey 2, Massier, Mimidi, Remme, Smith
Hawai'i: Gonzalez 2, Nixon 2, Aan, Barr, Keuning
Long Beach State: Patras 14
Hawai'i: Hage 6
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