LA VERNE — No. 6 Long Beach entered the Inland Empire Classic Saturday, looking to learn from its mistakes at the Triton Invitational where it opened its season 3-1 overall.
Long Beach (6-1) dominated the weekend by defeating Whittier College 15-3, La Verne 23-9, Chapman 18-8.
“We thought we could do a lot better than last week and come out hard with high intensity, because we were upset by last week,” senior attacker Max Custar said.
Long Beach opened its day with a 15-3 win over Whittier which featured a third quarter flurry of seven goals that solidified the first of its three victories. Sophomore attacker James Rozsypal scored three times which propelled the 49ers toward victory against the Poets.
“Our major focus was getting individually prepared and as a team approaching every single game like it is a championship game,” assistant coach Sale Petrovic said. “I think we did a pretty good job this week and that is only going to help us in the long run.”
The 49ers built off the success of their first match in their second game against No. 19 La Verne, easily winning 23-9.
“This tournament was really good for us getting up for games we know we can do well in, for games [that] are going to be close in our conference,” Custar said.
In the first quarter, Long Beach pushed an early 4-1 lead. In the second quarter, senior defender Austin Stevenson, freshman defender Aaron Arias, and senior defender Austin Stewart each punched two goals, and the team went into the half leading 12-3.
Arias logged six goals against the Leos while senior defender Keegan Wicken closely followed with three goals.
After a penalty against La Verne in the third, Wong scored, making the Leos deficit 13-3. The game yet again picked up with several more goals making Long Beach’s lead 16-4 going into the final quarter.
La Verne pressed to close the difference late in the game with back-to-back goals, but couldn’t rally back.
The 49ers finished off the weekend against Chapman and a strong first quarter, featuring five points which led the team to victory.
Stewart had six goals in the final match, which kept Long Beach competitive and ultimately pushed it toward its third win of the day. Custar had four goals in the final game of the day and players had multiple goals during the rematch showing how well the new players had blended into the team.
“This weekend was just about preparing for a lot of league games and integrating new players,” Stewart said. “Our goal is to win conference.”
The trio of games were high scoring especially for Stewart, Arias, Stevenson, Rozsypal, Wicken and Custar who all had three or more goals in the tournament alone.
The 49ers continue their road trip 7 p.m. Friday against Cal Berkeley.