By: Ignacio Cervantes
Section: Daily Forty Niner Sports
After a scoreless first half, Long Beach State junior forward Lena Silano broke free from the UCLA defenders during the 49th minute, taking what would be the team’s final shot against the Bruins during a 1-0 defeat on Sunday, Aug. 29, CSULB’s first loss of the season.
Although Silano missed just wide right, Long Beach State proved they could hold their own against the No. 4 ranked UCLA, who despite taking 14 shots, only scored once.
“It’s a difficult stretch of games,” CSULB head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said in regards to having just played the No. 8 ranked Pepperdine University three days earlier. “Not only are [UCLA] talented, but they were fresh.”
Bruin’s senior forward Mia Fishel led the way for the Bruins after scoring with a header on a cross from midfielder Michaela Rosenbaum to give her team the lead in the 78th minute.
While Long Beach State’s defense was anchored by goalkeeper Morgan Houston-Shepherd and defender Kaitlin Fregulia, CSULB struggled on the offensive end, taking just two off-target shots against UCLA, who have allowed just one goal in three games
“Obviously we would have liked to come out with a result,” Ingrassia said. “But sometimes you get small victories even in adversity.”
Silano, who scored what would be the winning goal against Pepperdine last week, believes playing nationally ranked teams, including UCLA, will help the team in the long run.
“I think we’re learning so much from them and we’re implementing it to our style of play,” Silano said. “We’ve had to play defensive these past two weeks so hopefully we can get forward more and play our game.”
CSULB will be traveling to San Diego twice this week, facing UC San Diego Thursday, Sept. 2 and San Diego State Sunday, Sept. 5.