Currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak, the Long Beach State women’s soccer team is in danger of missing the Big West Conference Tournament for the first time since 2013.
The 49ers have three Big West Conference games left in order to save their season, beginning with a home game against UC Riverside at 6 p.m. on Sunday at George Allen Field.
LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia knows his team is at the bottom of the Big West standings and is not downplaying the gravity of Sunday’s matchup against the Highlanders.
“We know our backs are against the wall, and we know we have to come out strong on Sunday to get a result,” Ingrassia said. “Sunday’s game is huge and the team knows it.”
LBSU (7-6-2, 1-3-1 Big West) is in sixth place in the conference standings, five points off of Riverside, (6-9-2, 3-2-0 Big West) and the last playoff berth needed to qualify for the tournament.
Despite outshooting the opposition 62-43 in the last four matches, the 49ers’ offense has been lackluster, failing to score in three of those four games. Sophomore defender Chloe Froment pointed out that finishing was a point of emphasis for the team during this week’s practice.
“We are working a lot this week on the last phase of attack to be able to score more goals,” Froment said.
Ingrassia added that although he is not content with the team’s overall lack of goals, he is pleased with his players’ ability to create multiple chances during a match.
“I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating opportunities,” Ingrassia said. “It’s part of the process. You need to create in order to have a chance to score, but we just need to finish them.”
In an injury update, Ingrassia mentioned the team has lost another key player to a season-ending injury in sophomore defender Kaitlin Fregulia. She joins senior forward Ashley Gonzales whose season ended early due to injury.
Adjusting to injuries is always difficult, according to Ingrassia, but the team has no other option and must find a way to do so.
“These things happen at the most inopportune of times, so now we’re just trying to adjust to all of that and push forward,” Ingrassia said.