Soccer, Sports, Women's Sports

Long Beach State women’s soccer team loses to defending champion Penn State

Before the season started, the 49ers were confident they could compete with any team on their schedule.

The one thing Long Beach State women’s soccer head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said could change their season was health.

Through the first four games the 49ers rolled to a 3-0-1 record to start the season without any injuries.

Then, before the 49ers took on Loyola Marymount on Friday, senior Ashton McKeown suffered a shoulder injury during warm ups – delivering a blow to the team’s defense.

LBSU went on to lose that game 2-1 with sophomore Imani McDonald replacing McKeown.

On Sunday, without its senior goalkeeper for a second game, LBSU took on the 2015 NCAA national champion Penn State.

Through the first 45 minutes LBSU trailed the Nittany Lions 1-0 after Penn State’s Charlotte Williams scored a goal in the 26th minute.

“This team won a national championship but you look at the performance in both games – we dominated,” senior midfielder Mimi Rangel said. “We just came out short, we had a bunch of chances on goal both games and unfortunately we’re not able to put any of those in the back of the net.”

Early in the second half, the 49ers competed with Penn State, but the Nittany Lions took a 2-0 lead after Penn State’s Williams scored her second goal of the night from 10 yards out.

LBSU was awarded a penalty kick after a foul inside the box, from there junior forward Ashley Gonzales scored a goal in the bottom left corner.

Although the team lost, head coach Mauricio Ingrassia was confident the team will be able to build from it.

“I told the team that sometimes you can’t control the result,” Ingrassia said. “It’s tricky sometimes but nonetheless this game is going to help us move forward for sure and I feel the performance was worthy of the occasion.”

The loss of McKeown will continue to be a story line and LBSU will hope they have good news after having a day off Monday.

“That’s the million dollar question,” Ingrassia said after being asked if McKeown will play on Sunday. “We’ll just have to wait and see.

The day off will be welcomed, as the team has extra time to work on its game.

“I think it’s great we get to get some legs back and iron some things out we can see on film and learn some lessons from this weekend,” Ingrassia said.

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