The Long Beach State women’s soccer team fell, 1-0, to No. 18 University of San Diego, Wednesday at George Allen Field.
A combination of playing three games in six days, injuries, intense heat and a formidable opponent took its toll on the 49ers.
LBSU came out energized in the first 30 minutes of the game, showing off their passing abilities and offensive talent.
The energy dropped off, and San Diego’s fresh legs were put on display as they dominated the ball.
Not quite at the 30-minute mark, a corner kick was called for the 49ers and off the cross, sophomore Lindsay Bullock sent the ball off the crossbar and what was believed to be inside the goal. The referees, however, maintained the ball “was partially still on the line.”
LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said, “[If] that ball was an inch lower, we’re winning, 1-0. Instead, they go off the counter and we’re losing, 1-0. That would have been a whole different game, obviously.”
Shortly after the controversial play, San Diego’s Jen Mello hit the bottom right corner of the net in the 32nd minute for the only goal of the game.
In the second half, the 49er defense tightened up to prevent another goal. The Toreros (8-3-2), who had 10 shots on goal in the first half, were only allowed three shots in the second. Senior goalkeeper Liz Ramos had eight saves. LBSU had opportunities, but most shots on goal sailed too high.
The 49ers (8-4-2) missed senior Sahar Haghdan’s “fire” on the field due to an injured hip flexor but senior Hayley Bolt said, “We have a lot of players that can step up. As a whole, we can accommodate [for Haghdan] but definitely, we miss her.”
Haghdan is expected to miss at least 10 days with the injury, Ingrassia said.
A few players include sophomore twin sisters Grace and Caroline Shevlin, who will become part of the rotation, Ingrassia said.
Bolt remained optimistic, saying, “We have adversity all the time, whether it’s weather, the refs, traveling … it’s a minor setback, but [we’re going to] regroup and come back fired up for Sunday.”
The 49ers return to George Allen Field to host rival UC Irvine in a Big West Conference match-up Sunday at 2 p.m.