Halloween brought nothing but treats for the LBSU women’s soccer team Friday night. In a thrilling first-place showdown, the Long Beach State women’s soccer team overcame a one-goal deficit to edge UC Santa Barbara, 2-1, in a double overtime jaw-dropper on Friday night at Harder Stadium. There aren’t many better places in the country to celebrate a huge win than UCSB on a Friday Halloween, either. With the victory, LBSU claimed the Big West Conference regular season title and improved to 12-4-3 overall and 6-0-1 in league play, and the second-place Gauchos fell to 11-6-1, and 4-2-1 in the conference. Just as important as winning the conference title is the honor that comes with it—the 49ers will now officially host the Big West Tournament, at George Allen Field, giving that massive senior class a little extra time on their home turf.
The first half was a defensive battle, with both teams recording just three shots; keeper Liz Ramos kept the Gauchos from putting the ball in the Niners’ net with a pair of saves. 71 minutes in, though, UCSB took a 1-0 lead off of a Kailyn Kugler shot to the lower left corner. It appeared that the conference title was going to slip away, and that the Niners would have to travel to third place Cal Poly to try and get it back. But then , with just over a minute remaining in regulation, sophomore Kristen Kiefer scored her seventh goal of the season, making a huge seven-yard shot off of an assist from Shawna Gordon.
The Beach was unable to get a shot off in the first overtime period, but quickly took control in the second 10 minutes of extra play. On her second shot in a six-minute span, sophomore Lindsey Bullock tallied the game-winner off a corner kick from senior Kim Silos at the 106:18 mark. The goal was Bullock’s 10th of the season, while Silos recorded her team-leading fifth helper.
The 49ers held a slight advantage in the shots column (10-9) as senior Hayley Bolt led the attack with a game-high three attempts. Bullock and Silos also chipped in with two shots apiece, and Ramos finished the evening with five saves.
Long Beach State will close out the regular season with a noon (PST) showdown at Cal Poly on Sunday, Nov. 2, and then host the Big West tournament on November 6th and 9th.
With reports by LBSU