A strong finish is a good finish, and the Long Beach State women’s soccer team finished their schedule on a high note, defeating third-place Cal Poly 3-2 on Sunday. The road victory improves the 49ers to 13-4-3 overall, and they finish conference play unbeaten, at 7-0-1. The loss drops Cal Poly to 10-9-0, and 5-3-0 in Big West play.
As with their victory over UCSB on Friday night, the 49ers played from behind, after the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead just seven minutes in, off an Ashley Vallis goal, assisted by Carrie Andrews. But it didn’t take long for Long Beach State to respond, as they scored in the fifteenth minute on their first corner kick. Senior Dana Farquhar sailed the ball into traffic, and freshman Nicole Hubbard got her head on it, knocking it past Cal Poly goalkeeper Coral Hoover from the far post.
The 49ers took their first lead of the game in the 40th minute on a combination play as junior Yeraldy Hurtado passed the ball off to senior Kim Silos, who gave sophomore Kristen Kiefer a pretty lead pass. Kiefer then beat Hoover on a breakaway, sending the ball to the far post from the right side. With a 2-1 advantage at intermission, Long Beach State carried its momentum into the second half, adding to its lead at the 67:09 mark. After taking a through pass from senior Hayley Bolt, Kiefer found senior Mariko Strickland, who drilled a shot to the upper left corner from 10 yards out.
Cal Poly tacked on one more score with just over six minutes to play, but LBSU maintained control and was able to run the clock out for the 3-2 victory. Long Beach State outshot the Mustangs, 18-11, and held the advantage in shots on goal (10-7). Silos led the way with a game-high six attempts, including three on net. Senior goalkeeper Liz Ramos, meanwhile, tallied five saves.
The victory to close out the season sends the 49ers into the postseason with momentum at their back. With the conference title obtained on Friday against UCSB, the 49ers will host their Big West Conference Tournament semifinal match on Thursday, at 2pm. Unless my math is absolutely terrible, the fourth seed that will be visiting George Allen should definitely be Pacific.