The Auburn Tigers showed no mercy on Long Beach State’s turf Sunday as they blasted the ball into the goal just ten minutes into the game. The lone goal, scored by Auburn midfielder Gianna Montini was deflected by senior goalkeeper Imani McDonald before hitting the crossbar and finding its way to the net.
After an aggressive game against Alabama’s best, the 49ers suffered their first loss at home.
The No. 17 ranked Tigers came into Sunday’s game with a record of 5-0 and a 2-0 win over Cal State Fullerton Friday. Matching up with a nationally ranked team can be intimidating, but it had no effect on the way the 49ers performed.
“We went in with the same mindset as every game, senior forward Ashley Gonzales said. “We don’t pay attention to the rankings.”
While both teams fought hard, the referees played a role in the way the game played out. Officials allowed extra shoving and tripping by both sides, which became a source of frustration for Long Beach. Head coach Mauricio Ingrassia and his staff continued to question the officials until time ran out.
Holding their own against a ranked opponent for the second game in a row, Long Beach State proved that they can compete with the best.
“I thought the way the team responded was excellent. We were just unlucky in front of the net,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said.
Shot attempts from Taylor Bistline, Ashley Gonzales, Sarah Pilster, Katie Pingel and Mackenzie Magaoay caused hopeful reactions from the crowd.
The 49ers put pressure on Auburn senior goalkeeper Sarah Le Beau, who saved all six of the shots on goal. The Tigers fired back with three shots on goal out of seven total.
Sunday’s loss followed an away game at No. 23 Texas, where Long Beach also fell short by just one goal.
Long Beach State’s next game will be at George Allen Field at 7 p.m. Friday against St. John’s.