Soccer, Sports, Women's Sports

LBSU forward Tori Bolden scores two goals in Big West home opener

The Long Beach State women’s soccer team opened its Big West Conference play in strong fashion Sunday, beating Hawai’i 2-0.

Senior forward Tori Bolden scored twice to lift the 49ers to victory at George Allen Field. LBSU (6-3-1) was looking to carry the momentum from its positive preseason into the game against Hawai’i (5-4-0).

“Our goal is always to score two goals in a game and keep the other team from scoring,” LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “We’re looking to knock the other team out.”

In the early minutes of the match, however, it was the Rainbow Wahine who set the offensive tempo of the game and match and looked to convert on their opportunities.

During this stretch, the Rainbow Wahine found their best chance to score in the game when a foul was committed inside the 49ers’ box, awarding them a penalty.

However, LBSU breathed a sigh a relief as Hawai’i’s midfielder Raisa Strom-Okimoto shot the ball high-right and missed the penalty shot.

The game remained scoreless.

After the penalty, the 49ers’ offense were able to take control of the game and looked poised to score.

LBSU was the clear protagonist in the latter moments opening half and had multiple opportunities to score, but took a 1-0 at halftime.

“In conference, you have to come out aggressive because it’s anybody’s game,” Bolden said. “I think we started off slow, but once the game progressed, we were fine.”

With nine shots and two corner kicks in the first half, the Rainbow Wahine’s offense looked strong, but the 49ers’ defense was solid in the back and more than able to hold off the onslaught.

To start the second half, Hawai’i looked puzzled on the field and LBSU took advantage of this and cemented itself as the prime controller of the match.

It wasn’t until the 65th minute of play, however, that the 49ers were rewarded for their offensive showing of the second half and doubled their lead after a series of plays in the Rainbow Wahine’s box led to a LBSU score.

Bolden scored her second goal of the match after she received a pass inside Hawai’i’s box from sophomore defender Kaitlin Fregulia who sent it her way on a header, and shot the ball left to get past Hawai’i’s goalkeeper.

This goal proved to be decisive and the game ended with a resounding 2-0 LBSU victory.

“I think it’s just one game, and you don’t really read too much into it,” Ingrassia said. “You tuck away, watch film and see what you can get out of it for [next] Thursday night.”

LBSU continues Big West Conference play when it hits the road to take on the UC Irvine on Thursday at 7 p.m. (PT).

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