LBSU women’s soccer rallies in overtime to defeat UC Santa Barbara 2-1 to secure a spot in the semi-final of the Big West Tournament.
This was a gritty and physical matchup that demonstrated strategy, determination, and passion from both teams.
The first half saw both teams go scoreless, but it was only the beginning of what was going to be an exciting second half and onward.
The Beach opened the second half determined to end the scoring drought. Defender Alia Sinoff would assist forward Lena Silano just under two minutes into the second half to give Long Beach the lead. This also gave Silano her fifteenth goal of the season, further cementing herself as one of the best scorers in the country.
UC Santa Barbara would not give up however, after not scoring for the majority of the contest, midfielder Lauren Helwig would score an equalizer with just under ten minutes left in the game, sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period consisted of two 10-minute halves. Whoever had more goals at the end of overtime would win the game.
At the start of the second half, The Beach came out aggressive. With just under two minutes into overtime, the Sinoff-Silano connection would prevail for a second time in the contest, giving LBSU the lead and never looking back.
Silano’s two goals ties a Long Beach State record for most goals scored in a single season and moves her higher up the ladder in the nations scoring rankings.
After the game, women’s soccer head coach, Mauricio Ingrassio, gave an opening statement and praised his team’s togetherness and determination to win.
“The players believed in each other in the overtime and before the game and just told themselves that they could do it,” Ingrassio said. “That’s why I love this team. I love the fight, grit and togetherness. We got the result and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Silano’s leadership was also in full display during the game, speaking with Sinoff prior to the start of the overtime period just before the two would connect for a second goal.
“Lena came up to me and she was like, ‘hey, if you don’t really know what to do, send the ball in, I got you, I’ll make something happen,'” Sinoff said.
Silano finished with nine shots total and five shots on target, keeping the Gauchos defense on their toes and posing a consistent and reliable threat to score.
The Beach will take on Cal Poly in the semi-finals of the Big West Tournament at San Luis Obispo on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. If they win, Long Beach will go on to play in the finals.