Long Beach State women’s soccer relinquished a second-half lead at home for the second time this season, falling 2-1 to the CSUF Titans Thursday at George Allen Field.
“It’s unfortunate because I think we played pretty well,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said.
CSUF (9-2-1, 2-0 Big West) leads the conference standings and has not lost in eight matches. Long Beach (3-9, 1-2 Big West) was almost able to execute the upset.
From opening kickoff, the Beach attempted to send long passes to sophomore forward/defender Elysia Laramie through the Titans midfield. Long Beach has been stressing better ball movement upfield since the beginning of conference play.
Long Beach defender Kaitlin Fregulia sent a long pass right of the arc on a free kick in the 30th minute. Sophomore forward Sierra Castles headed it to Laramie, who tucked the ball under the crossbar for a 1-0 Long Beach lead.
“I was just gonna hit it as hard as I could,” Laramie said. “I just went for it.”
Laramie has all three of Long Beach’s goals in conference play this season and leads the team with four goals.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Beach was able to limit scoring chances from the high-powered Fullerton offense.
“We denied them [from] coming forward,” Ingrassia said.
Fullerton’s best chance to score in the first half came in the 38th minute when senior Titans forward Maddie Bennett broke free behind the Long Beach defense. Long Beach junior goalkeeper Marta Alemany Sanchez charged Bennet and made the save, inspiring roars of approval from the bleachers.
The Beach threatened to expand their lead in the 47th minute with a shot from Castles. The attempt went wide, but almost bounced in after a deflection by junior forward Nadiya Siqueiros, but she was unable to convert
“We had a chance to score the second goal,” Ingrassia said. “You’ve got to score goals to win games.”
The missed opportunity proved costly. In the 55th minute, Fullerton drew a foul at the top of the arc. Senior Titans forward Atlanta Primus curved a seeing-eye strike into the top corner of the goal for the equalizer.
As the match progressed, Long Beach struggled to string passes together and maintain possession. In the 66th minute, Fregulia collected a back-pass while Bennet pressured her. Fregulia attempted a pass, but Bennet stole the ball and sprinted alone towards goal once again. Her low strike rolled in for a 2-1 Fullerton lead.
“We made a mistake at center back [Fregulia’s position],” Ingrassia said. “We should probably have cleared that ball.”
The Beach earned a corner kick in the 85th minute, but it didn’t connect as Long Beach lost its second consecutive game.
“There’s still a lot of season left so we’ll regroup,” Ingrassia said.
Long Beach will continue its home stand Friday, Oct. 18 against UC Davis at 7 p.m. at George Allen Field.