LBSU Battles UCI in Season Finale with Tournament Seeding on the Line
April 17, 2013
Black & Blue Rivalry Series Presented by Duke's Huntington Beach
LIVE GAME UPDATES: Follow @49erwaterpolo on Twitter for live updates & stats.
BLACK & GOAL BENEFIT: The Long Beach State men's and women's water polo have officially set the date for its Inaugural Black & Goal Benefit for May 4th. The cocktail-attire event will be held at a private home that was donated in Bixby Knolls and set to begin at 3 p.m.
IN THE POLLS: For the first time in eight weeks, the 49ers have dropped a spot in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll to No. 10. LBSU was replaced by San Jose State after falling to then No. 17 UC San Diego, 9-7, last Thursday.
BLACK & BLUE RIVALRY: In its final match of the regular season, the Long Beach State women's water polo team will face the sixth-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. for another chapter of the Black & Blue Rivalry Series presented by Duke's Huntington Beach.
The Anteaters (17-8, 5-1 Big West) currently lead in the annual series, 18-13, with a five-game winning streak over the 49ers (23-5, 4-2 Big West).
In addition to the Black & Blue Rivalry Series, Thursday's season finale will also serve as the Gold Game for the women's water polo season at Long Beach State.
ONE MORE TIME: Melissa Matheson, Julie Lantz, and Claire Martin will suit up one last time in front of the 49er faithful Thursday as they are recognized by their coaches, peers, family, friends, and fellow 49ers prior to the match.
Out of the three, Matheson leads the group of seniors in scoring with 114 career goals while Lantz comes in with 39 after missing a chunk of this season due to injury. Martin, the team captain, heads into Thursday's match with 33 career goals at The Beach.
The 49ers look to send their seniors out with a bang by defeating the three-time Big West champions.
SCOUTING THE `EATERS: The Beach rides a four-game winning streak in conference play heading into Thursday's showdown with UCI. The Anteaters were narrowly edged by this conference champion, Hawai'i, 12-11 for their lone loss of the year.
Long Beach State looks to put an end to its four-game skid against UC Irvine. The 49ers last defeated the `Eaters in 2011, 6-5 OT, at the UC Irvine Invitational.
With LBSU on top and UCI right behind it in the team defense category via the Big West Conference stats on April 11th, Thursday's match will be determined by the team that takes advantage of their opponent's mistakes on the defensive end.
BIG WEST PILE UP: The Big West match-up between UC Irvine and Long Beach State will be very critical as Big West Tournament seeding will be on the line.
A win over the `Eaters would create a three-team pile up in the standings at 5-2 while a loss would give UCI the two seed, SDSU the three seed, and LBSU the fourth seed.
However, if the 49ers prevail over UCI, it would create the following scenario: UCI over SDSU, SDSU over LBSU and LBSU over UCI. Depending on the how the tie-breaker would work, Long Beach State could receive a two seed at the highest and can only go as low as the fourth seed because of its win over UCSB.
CENTURY MARKS: Melissa Matheson (114), Chelsea Parks (116), and Coriann Snyder (108) have now all joined the 100-goal club at The Beach. With four matches remaining, including the Big West Tournament, Matheson and Parks have cracked the top ten while Snyder needs six more goals to surpass Elizabeth Garcia for the tenth spot on the top-10 career-goals list at Long Beach State.
GOALIE WATCH: With the 21 saves last week, Junior Kelly Ringel now has 520 career saves at The Beach with sole possession of fourth all-time on the career saves list. The junior will need to average 8.25 saves per game the rest of the year to surpass Amanda Wightman's 552 saves to take over the third spot.
The Long Beach, Calif. product's 229 saves on the season also puts her seventh on the single-season saves leaderboard. Ringel will need to grab 37 more saves in the cage to beat out her saves total last year of 265, good for second in the single-season saves leaderboard.