Women's Soccer: Tigers Bound For Big West Tourney Despite 2-0 Loss to Long Beach State
Two second-half goals by Long Beach State handed the Pacific Tigers women's soccer team their first defeat at home Friday night with a 2-0 loss to the 49ers at Stagg Memorial Stadium. The loss snapped Pacific's four-match winning streak, but the Tigers are assured of Big West tournament berth. The Tigers fell to 7-7-3 overall, 4-3-0 in the Big West and will be the four seed in the Big West tournament regardless of Sunday's result.
While a win over UC Riverside on Senior Day on Sunday would move the Tigers into a tie for third place, Pacific is locked into the Number four seed in the Big West tournament and will play at UC Irvine on Thursday, November 4 in the semifinals.
Long Beach (12-4-2 overall, 5-1-1 Big West) secured the second seed and will host Cal State Northridge (10-8-0, 3-5-0 Big West).
"The part that's hard to swallow is they were more opportunistic than us. I don't think either team had that many great looks to be honest. They had two balls that were bouncing around in the box and they were able to get on the end of," head coach Keith Coleman said. "[Link] threaded the needle once she got the ball."
Although Pacific still outshot Long Beach State in the second half, the shot that ultimately decided the fate of the game was taken in the 56th minute. Amid a scuffle at the goal front, the ball came loose and sophomore forward Nadia Link emerged to spear a shot past redshirt senior goalkeeper Jill Medigovich.
With the shot that soared past Medigovich in the 56th minute, Link ended Pacific season-long shutout streak at home. The Long Beach State goal was the first goal allowed by Pacific at home this season and broke a stretch of 527:08 consecutive shutout minutes at home for Medigovich and freshman goalkeeper Tashia Long.
With ten minutes remaining, Long Beach State's senior midfielder Lindsay Bullock scored the 49ers second goal of the night. Bullock collected a loose ball in the front and shot across the box off, ringing it off the inside of the far post for a 2-0 advantage.
Both teams finished the match with shots in single-figures, Pacific with six and Long Beach State with five, with four combined shots on goal. Goalkeeper Emily
Kingsborough denied Pacific's limited scoring chances in the game. The Tigers' best scoring chance of the second half came after a foul that was called in Pacific's favor. Senior defender Kylee Ah Choy took a shot that sailed over the goal and left Pacific scoreless.
Defense dominated the first half as Pacific outshot the 49ers 3-1 and controlled the ball for the majority of the half. Sophomore defender Lauren Olvera's shot in the 23rd minute off a rebounded missed by inches in the 23rd minute as the defensive match continued.
While the Tigers only had three shots in the half, Pacific's sole shot on goal by junior midfielder Laura Hogan would have painted the goalposts perfectly if it weren't for the solid save by junior keeper Emily Kingsborough.
"It wasn't that they were creating all kinds of things and we weren't," Coleman said. "It was a very even game. It was a game of long throw ins and corners."
The defining characteristic of the match was the amount of fouls that were amassed by both teams. The field was a battleground throughout the game as Pacific and Long Beach compiled 8 fouls each in the first half and ended the game with 20 and 15 fouls, respectively.
The only yellow card of the game was issued with three minutes left on the clock to freshman defender Brittni Beeman. Beeman will be ineligible for Sunday's match against UC Riverside, as she will be serving an automatic one-game suspension for her fifth yellow card of the year.
Pacific falls to 4-1-1 at home this season, and 7-3-2 against unranked teams.
The Tigers kick off at 1:00 PM on Sunday against UC Riverside at Stagg Memorial Stadium on Senior Day. The Tigers honor their six seniors - goalkeeper Jill Medigovich, defenders Chyanne Alejado, Kylee Ah Choy, midfielder Natalie Wong, forward Sammi Teramae and midfielder/defender Kim Hargrave - prior to kickoff.