LOS ANGELES — Freshman Ashley Roese made the first goal of her career one to remember as she scored the game-winner in the 56th minute to lift Long Beach State to a 1-0 victory against San Diego in the third round of the NCAA tournament on a rainy Sunday afternoon at UCLA’s Drake Stadium.
The 49ers continued their historic season as they have now not only won their first-ever NCAA tournament game, but have also advanced to the quarterfinals in just their third postseason appearance.
LBSU has also shattered the program’s single-season records for victories (18), goals (49), assists (52) and points (150).
“I have a fantastic team,” Long Beach State head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “Together we came up with a game plan that was different than anything we’ve done all year. I really want to give credit to my staff, Lucas, Jeff, Anton, Sebastian and Lindsay, because we put our heads together and made some (position) moves behind the scenes.
“I also want to give credit to San Diego and Ada Greenwood as they had a fantastic season. He is a great friend of mine and we both knew it was going to be a war. The conditions were not ideal, but that’s soccer.”
With the win, Long Beach State improved to 18-5-1 overall and extended its season-long winning streak to eight games. That streak is also a school record, eclipsing the previous best of six games which the 2008 and 2010 squads initially established.
Roese found the back of the net on LBSU’s first shot of the second half. She delivered the game-winner at the 56-minute mark when she worked to get free in the box before scoring from close range in a one-on-one situation with USD goalkeeper Courtney Parsons. In addition to her first career goal, Roese also finished with a career-high two shots.
Junior Nadia Link and sophomore Sierra Mack added two attempts each as the 49ers totaled eight shots on the afternoon.
Senior Kaitlyn Gustaves registered two saves en route to her fifth consecutive shutout and 12th of the year. Gustaves and the 49er back line, which have blanked their opponents in seven of the last eight games, have not allowed a goal in 477 minutes.
The first half was evenly played and saw five shot attempts for San Diego and three for Long Beach State. Both teams finished with one shot on goal, while the Toreros held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
The 49ers didn’t waste any time in making their offensive presence felt as senior Nicole Hubbard fired off a shot at the 1:53 mark that was saved by Parsons. The Toreros, whose first shot of the game came in the 17th minute, then had three unanswered attempts before senior Shawna Gordon and Link both sent the ball wide of the post as the two teams went into intermission in a scoreless tie.
San Diego (12-8-2) started off the second period with an attempt from Stephanie Ochs that sailed high, but Roese struck just six and a half minutes later. LBSU’s defense continued to lock down on the Toreros as the 49ers outshot USD 4-2 the rest of the way.
“I’m really proud of my team, they are the ones that deserve all the credit because they got it done,” Ingrassia said. “Nicole Hubbard played a monster game and she is a huge leader for us.”
The Toreros came close to tying it up in the 84th minute when a Natalie Garcia shot hit the crossbar. They finished with nine attempts and were led by Ochs, who had a game-high three shots.