49ers Head to MPSF Tournament Starting Thursday
April 23, 2008
LONG BEACH--Long Beach State (15-15), the 10th seed in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship, will open up play on Thursday on the campus of San Diego State with seventh-seeded and No. 5-ranked California (16-9) at 2:30 p.m. The 49ers lost their only meeting with the Golden Bears, 13-3, in Berkeley.
The winner takes on No. 2-ranked Stanford (23-3) at 12:40 p.m. on Friday, while the loser plays on Saturday at 10:20 a.m. against either fifth-seeded Hawaii (18-8) or 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara (5-18). A win on Thursday leads the 49ers to games at either 1:30 p.m. or 4:10 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday will be placement games from 9 a.m. until the championship at 4 p.m.
The Beach has won four of their last six games heading into the post-season tournament.
Complete MPSF Tournament Information can be obtained at: MPSF Championships at SDSU
Since 2001, the 49ers have finished fourth three times (2002-04) at the MPSF Tournament and are a combined 9-14 since 2001. The team finished last year in eighth place in Head Coach Catharine von Schwarz's first year, after beginning the event 10th.
This year's team is paced by senior Dayna Wawrzynski, whose 63 goals is fifth-best in a single season; freshman and New Zealand National Team member Lauren Sieprath (38 goals) and sophomore 2-Meter Branwyn Lee (35). Freshman goalie Kristen Stragier set the single-season record for saves last week (244), and has 261 saves entering the tournament. Another freshman, Kelsie Emerick has started 27 games this year, scoring 25 times.
Wawrzynski has been on a tear over the final 12 regular season games, scoring 34 goals, as the 49ers have gone 7-5, with three of those losses coming by three goals or less. Wawrzynski is shooting a team-best 48 percent. She was named MPSF Player of the Week two weeks ago after leading the 49ers to the upset of No. 4 Hawaii and scoring 16 goals for the week.
Sieprath enters the tournament after scoring in each of her last four games, while Lee has tallied a goal in 13 of her last 17, entirely off the bench. Sieprath also has a team-high 22 steals.
Stragier has posted double digit saves in 11 matches this season, ranking 12th nationally in saves. Wawrzynski ranks in the top-25 in scoring.