Fujikuni and Gonzales named United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team

Long Beach State women’s soccer seniors Ashley Gonzales and Dana Fujikuni were selected for the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team. Fujikuni had a very successful season earning Big West Midfielder of the Year and the Big West Tournament MVP award. “It’s nice to be able to end my soccer career on a high note,” Fujikuni said. “I’m grateful for being apart of this program and all the opportunities it has led me to.” Fujikuni finished the season with six goals and four assists to help lead the team to the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in school history . Gonzales finished the year with seven goals and two assists after coming off a knee injury that sidelined her for all of last season. She also set a new Long Beach State record by finishing her career with 36 goals. This is her second time getting an All-West Region First Team selection, the first coming in 2016. “It was so awesome to win the double and see our hard work pay off,” Gonzales said. “I feel like the record and All-League were just a bonus, I truly couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates.” Both players

By | 2018-11-27T22:31:56-07:00 Nov 27, 2018 | 9:52 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach wraps up a notable 2018 season

Near the end of the 2018 season, the Long Beach State women’s soccer season reached its peak, then came crashing down.   The 49ers were Big West regular season champions, but were defeated 6-0 in the NCAA Tournament by No. 4 seeded USC. Going into Friday’s game I knew it would be an extremely tough match, but there was a glimmer of hope. Long Beach was on a three-game win streak, and was performing exceptionally well in comparison to last year’s squad, who finished with a 9-6-3 record and took fifth place in the Big West. At the end of its season it had the confidence, support and drive needed to go far in the NCAA tournament. So what went wrong? It all boils down to this: bigger and well-known schools have money and a large selection of athletes to choose from. Potential college athletes are drawn to them because of their reputation, which gives them the ability to choose from players who have played on national teams or earned the top earnings in high school. When people think of the top sports schools in the country, they typically don’t list Long Beach as one. But this year, the 49ers

By | 2018-11-16T10:33:04-07:00 Nov 16, 2018 | 10:33 am|Categories: Commentary, Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , , |

Long Beach prepares for No. 4 seeded USC

Dominating the regular season and sweeping UCSB in the Big West tournament finals, Long Beach State secured a spot in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Long Beach will play a 1:30 p.m. Friday rematch against No. 4 seeded USC (15-2-2), who they fell against 3-0 in the preseason. Despite losses at the start of the year, the 49ers improved their game play and team chemistry during the duration of the Big West, allowing them to come out on top in the end. “I don’t think we’ve ever been so connected as a team, one through 27,” senior midfielder Dana Fujikuni said. Long Beach (12-5-3) currently holds a three game win streak and is entering the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in the team’s history. Senior forward Ashley Gonzales leads the team with seven goals, followed by Fujikuni’s six. Both were chosen for the All-Big West team and Fujikuni was awarded midfielder of the year and the Big West Tournament MVP honors. The greatest attribute to the Long Beach defense is senior defender Sarah Maher who was named the Big West Defensive Player of the Year. She has started in every game this season and has the most

By | 2018-11-08T20:23:31-07:00 Nov 8, 2018 | 8:23 pm|Categories: Showcase, Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach capable of upsetting USC in NCAA tournament

Long Beach State soccer finds itself in a good-news bad-news situation. On the bright side, the 49ers are in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, their first round matchup is on the road against USC, a team that beat them 3-0 against the 49ers this year. Led by freshman Penelope Hocking, the USC offense is strong. The striker scores on more than half the shots she takes, but there are a few things Long Beach has going in its favor that could help it pull an upset.   There are two caveats. USC will get at least one great shot on goal Friday. Senior goalkeeper Imani McDonald will need to live up to her .947 save percentage this year to keep Long Beach in the game. Long Beach won’t win if they don’t spend a significant amount of time on the Trojans’ side of the field. With USC taking almost 20 shots per game, Long Beach can’t expect to hold the Trojans scoreless. The 49ers will have to score at least twice to win, and that requires ball control in the attacking third. The good news on that front is that Big West Conference Tournament MVP Dana Fujikuni will create problems for the

By | 2018-11-06T22:36:48-07:00 Nov 6, 2018 | 9:36 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , , |

Long Beach State women’s soccer wins the Big West tournament

IRVINE — The 49ers danced with excitement and were beaming ear-to-ear as they held up the championship trophy at Anteater Stadium after winning the most important game of the year so far. Long Beach State defeated UC Santa Barbara 2-0 in the Big West tournament final and will advance to the NCAA tournament for the seventh time. “Winning this with my team and for my team, I knew that I wanted to come back and do exactly this and go to the NCAA tournament with this group. It’s amazing,” senior forward Ashley Gonzales said while holding back tears. The final started off as a tug-of-war, as pressure alternated from one side of the field to the other. Long Beach fans anxiously stood on their toes as the 49ers drew a free kick just outside the Gauchos goal box in the 25th minute. Gonzales nailed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, causing the score to go 1-0 in the 49ers favor. In the 55th minute, UCSB junior goalkeeper Hanna DeWeese attempted a sliding save on her right, leaving senior midfielder Dana Fujikuni wide open in the middle of the box. The ball was deflected into the center,

By | 2018-11-05T16:26:13-07:00 Nov 4, 2018 | 6:54 pm|Categories: Showcase, Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach State advances to Big West Finals

The crowd roared with applause as Dana Fujikuni scored the winning goal against her former team, UC Davis in the 48th minute, helping Long Beach State defeat the Aggies 1-0 and advance to the Big West finals for the fourth time in the last five years. The goal came after a corner kick with an assist from junior midfielder Katie Pingel, who placed the ball perfectly in front of the net in the midst of traffic. “Every game we come to is a championship game,” Fujikuni said. “Every game we have to get in that mindset and that’s how we come out strong.” After tying UC Davis (7-7-4) in regular season play last week, it was critical for Long Beach State (11-5-3) to come out with a win. The offensive attack was led by sophomore forward Kayla Cannon and freshman midfielder Sierra Castles, who each took three shots. The 49ers outshot their opponents once again, completing the game with 13 shots compared to UC Davis’ nine. Senior goalkeeper Imani McDonald had four saves in the 90 minutes, earning her fifth shutout of the season. “Coming into this game we absolutely wanted revenge,” McDonald said. “I knew that I owed my

By | 2018-11-01T23:01:26-07:00 Nov 1, 2018 | 11:01 pm|Categories: Showcase, Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , , , , |

Long Beach State women’s soccer heads to the Big West tournament

After defeating Northridge 3-1 in their final match at George Allen Field, the Long Beach State women’s soccer team became regular season champions and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals as the No. 1 seed. Moments after Sunday’s win, the 49ers anxiously waited for the remaining Big West games to play out, in order for the final standings to be determined. UCSB tied Cal Poly, allowing the 49ers to clinch the first place title with a total of 17 points, just one point above the Gauchos. “It’s been a lot of games in a row and I think we’re in a good rhythm,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. Long Beach (10-5-3, 5-1-2 Big West) will go against UC Davis (7-7-4, 4-2-2 Big West) in the first round of the tournament 5 p.m. Thursday at UC Irvine. The winner of the match will advance to the tournament finals on Sunday. The 49ers won every conference game played at home, but ran into trouble when on the road. The team suffered a single loss against UC Riverside, and drew ties against Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis. Despite the few unfavorable results, Long Beach State finished the season with multiple players chosen

By | 2018-10-31T22:15:59-07:00 Oct 31, 2018 | 10:15 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Soccer, Women's Sports|Tags: , , , |
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