Long Beach State freshman forward Aleea Caceres’ first career goal wasn’t enough Friday as the Beach fell to No. 7 Penn State, 3-1 at home.
The Beach (0-2) have faced top-10 teams in both games this season and the Nittany Lions (2-1) outmatched Long Beach.
“We got exposed today, there’s no doubt,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said.
Junior goalkeeper Marta Alamany Sanchez was a bright spot for the Beach and has earned the number one goalkeeping role for now according to Ingrassia. She has seven saves in each of her last two games.
“We’re gonna respect her moment right now,” Ingrassia said.
Penn State pinned the Beach in the defensive third for most of the opening minutes. They capitalized on the pressure in the 10th minute on a precise passing play inside the box.
Standing left of the penalty spot, Penn State forward Peyton Linnehan collected a pass from near the goalline and fired it on goal. Forward Ally Schlegel broke into the six-yard box from the right and redirected Linnehan’s shot-pass into the back of the net, putting Penn State ahead 1-0.
Long Beach responded with a series of substitutions. The Beach managed to keep Penn State confined to the midfield immediately following the changes.
The Beach threatened to tie in the 33rd minute when junior forward Nadiyah Siquerios collected a pass at the top of the box and spun to fire a rocket into the waiting arms of Penn State goalkeeper Amanda Dennis.
“When we got scored on I thought we had good responses,” Ingrassia said.
In the 48th minute Penn State reclaimed any momentum the Beach had gained. The Nittany Lions’ forward Sam Coffey split the last two defenders with a pass that Kerry Abello settled in the box and fired into the top of the net.
In the 87th minute Caceres broke towards a cross from sophomore forward Lena Cilano. She chested the ball to her feet and calmly tapped it past the keeper for her first career goal.
“No matter what, I was gonna play till the very last second,” Caceres said.
The goal was too little too late, however, with Long Beach already down 3-0
The Beach hosts University of San Diego 6 p.m. Monday at George Allen Field.