We tried to give you a breakdown of all the different scenarios surrounding the final weekend of regular-season Big West women’s soccer. We tried to explain it, spell it out possibility by possibility in a way that was understandable.
But after a few hours of relentlessly going over different combinations of the outcomes of this weekend’s games, only one thing was clear: it’s too complicated.
At first, we were excited. Six teams vying for two playoff spots in one weekend? How could it get more exiting than that?
The truth is, it can’t. The sports drama surrounding this weekend is as exciting as it gets. It’s not worth trying to figure it all out because it’s just too complicated.
During our research, though, we did get some answers. Here are a few things to keep in mind while taking in the soccer action this weekend.
Long Beach State controls its own destiny
This is by far the most important piece of knowledge any 49er fan should have this weekend. Even though they sit in sixth, two places out of a spot in the Big West tournament, the ‘Niners have the perfect opportunity to make rise to fourth place and possibly even third.
If LBSU beats Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside, it will earn six points and move into third place no matter what happens in the rest of the conference this weekend.
It brings to mind an oft-used coaching cliché: we can only worry about ourselves. We can only focus on our game.
That cliché is usually true, and it remains true in this case. The 49ers don’t have to worry about anybody else, and they don’t have to scoreboard watch. They are in complete control of the outcome of their season.
As long as they win.
If LBSU doesn’t win, there’s still hope
The 49ers are fortunate in that they own tiebreakers with contending teams like UCSB and possibly UCR. They are in a remarkably good position given that they’re in sixth place and haven’t cracked the top four of the Big West standings since the first weekend of conference play.
LBSU’s 2-1 win over the Gauchos on Oct. 6 was critical. There are several scenarios that would result in the two teams being tied, and because of that win, the 49ers will be the ones moving on.
The ‘Niners are also lucky in that the head-to-head matchups with CSUF and UCR are coming at the right time. A win over either team would provide LBSU with a significant jump in the conference standings and also give them another head-to-head advantage with a close competitor.
As always, the best solution is winning
For all the complexity involved in this final weekend, there are two simple outcomes: winning and losing.
As previously mentioned, two wins would clinch a spot in the Big West tournament.
Two losses, however, or even one tie and one loss, would prevent LBSU from reaching it at all.
Ten points is the minimum it will take to make the postseason. That isn’t to say that the fourth-place team will have 10 points — it could easily end up with 11 or 12 — but it will be impossible for a team with anything less than 10 points to advance.
One win would jump the 49ers’ points total to 11 and significantly increase their chances of moving on.
It may be obvious, but for the 49ers, winning is the simplest and most ideal solution.