With one second left, Long Beach State’s junior forward Lena Silano scored her second goal of the night to give her team a 2-1 win in The Beach’s Big West Conference opener against UC San Diego on Thursday, Sept. 23, at George Allen Field.
“I heard five, four, three,” Silano said about the game’s stadium announcer counting down the game clock as time expired. “And I was like, I’m not in a rush. I was composed and I shot that in.”
Senior defender Kaylee Ramirez made the assist on the game-winning play and said she wasn’t aiming for anyone in particular but knew someone would try and make a play.
Fortunately for Ramirez and CSULB, Silano followed the Hail Mary pass into a channel with space before curling home the game-winning shot.
“I can always count on Lena to put in the work and get something out of it,” Ramirez said. “And she did.”
CSULB head coach Mauricio Ingrassia, who’s program hasn’t lost a conference-opening game since 2014, said The Beach (4-4-1) should have won the game early on.
CSULB had eight shots at halftime and forced UCSD sophomore goalkeeper Keara Fitzgerald to make three key saves that kept the visitors in the game.
Senior midfielder Caitlin McCarthy scored for UCSD with three minutes remaining in regulation, and with little time remaining the Tritons were on its to earning one point from this match.
UCSD head coach Kristin Jones said her team knew what it was going to take to win or tie the game, but admitted that her team lost focus in the dying moments.
“I think the girls bought into the game plan,” Jones said. “But you don’t deserve to win if you lose focus at any period of the game and the last ten seconds they stayed sharp and we kind of went to sleep.”
Silano’s two goals extended her tally to six on the season while Ramirez’s game-winning pass took her to a team-leading four assists.
Up next CSULB is the final game of a four-game home-stand against the University of Hawaii on Sunday, Sept. 26, before going on a two-game road trip to face UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.
“We just really wanted to hit a reset button,” Ramirez said. “We just had two tough games and we wanted to really start off [conference] on the right foot and we fought to the end.”