Pacific’s Tashia Long Named Big West Defensive Player of the Week
Pacific women's soccer goalkeeper Tashia Long was named Defensive Player of the Week by the Big West Conference on Monday after the freshman recorded eight saves in Sunday's 1-1 tie against No. 16 California.
Long, who entered the match at halftime, played the final 65 minutes between the pipes and held the fourth-ranked offense in the NCAA to just one goal. She also denied the nation's leading goal scorer, Alex Morgan, by making saves on all four of her shots on goal.
"She played a really good second half," head coach Keith Coleman said. "She had also played a good second half against Stanford, so we felt comfortable bringing her in. It was the plan all along for her to play the second half, and she really played well against a tough team."
The native of Sandy, Utah, Long faced 14 shots, posting a .889 save percentage. Her lone blemish came in the 87th minute when Cal defender Emi Lawson pushed up from the back on a corner kick, found the loose ball and tucked a shot off the underside of the crossbar. Pacific's Lauren Olvera had given the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute off a shot to the left corner following a corner kick.
Cal entered the match averaging 2.88 goals per game, fourth in the NCAA, and had racked up 19 goals in their previous four matches. Morgan's 10 goals in eight games leads all of Division I.
For the season, Long holds a 1.74 goals against average with 10 saves and a .769 save percentage.
Pacific (2-4-2 on the season) earned its best result against a top 20 team, having a pair of victories against teams ranked No. 22. The Tigers are 2-1-1 this season against unranked teams after completing a stretch of four top 25 opponents in a span of five games.
After playing seven of their first eight matches on the road, the Tigers return to Stagg Memorial Stadium on Friday to face Montana at 7 p.m. on Latino Sports Heroes night. At halftime, Latino student-athletes, including women's soccer players Padilla and Angelica Figueroa (Mexico) and Laura Hernandez (Columbia), will be recognized. On Sunday, Sept. 26, Pacific will play host to Hawai'i in a rare second regular-season meeting, at 11:00 a.m.