The story behind an unbelievable Long Beach State soccer goal that went viral

If you’re a sports fan on social media, there’s a good chance that at some point in the last week you’ve seen the unofficial Goal of the Year in women’s soccer.

During Long Beach State’s match against San Diego last Sunday at George Allen Field, senior Lena Silano went head-over-heels to deliver an unbelievable bicycle kick goal, tying the match with just over two minutes left. The play was set up with a terrific effort from teammate Elysia Laramie, who got past her defender by playing the ball through her legs before sending in a great assist to Silano.

Long Beach State head coach Mauricio Ingrassia called it “the best goal in the history of this field” and was beyond impressed with his players’ effort on the play, which propelled the team to a 2-2 tie to end the game.

“She just went up like Air Lena,” said Ingrassia of Silano’s bicycle kick. “It was pure instinct. She’s a special kid, a special player, and she made a special play.”

The goal was Silano’s second of the game and her fifth on the season, which leads the team.

“I trusted Elysia to do her thing, and she absolutely did her thing,” Silano said after the match. “She crossed it to me and I saw it and I was like, ‘Alright, I’m gonna full send this right now.’ And I full sent it, trusted my instincts, and it went in. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

“That’s like a dream. That’s a soccer player’s dream. That was awesome.”

And now it’s a dream that’s been seen by millions of soccer fans around the world. Dozens of media outlets have reposted various angles of the goal captured by Long Beach State videographers and by The562.org.

Outlets like ESPN, Sports Illustrated, House of Highlights and even CNN shared the clip on Instagram, TikTok, and elsewhere.

The official SportsCenter Instagram page was one of the first to share The562’s footage, and that video got over 11 million views (and counting) in less than a week. It was the page’s second-most popular video of the month.

On TikTok, the goal is one of ESPN’s most-viewed clips with over 16 million views, 3 million likes, over 50,000 shares and more than 12,000 comments. Dozens of other national sports accounts have reposted the clip and racked up millions of views as well.

This isn’t the first time a Long Beach State soccer play has gone viral. Just three years ago, Angie Morales made an incredible spin move, which made the rounds on social media and on TV.

At this point though, it’s been eclipsed by the video of Silano’s goal, which seems fitting for the best goal a Long Beach State player has ever scored.

Poly High’s Susan Watson earns statewide teacher of the year award

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

- ADVERTISEMENT -

More