No. 17 UC San Diego stages comeback to upset No. 9 Long Beach State
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- No. 17 UC San Diego made a second-half comeback to upset the ninth-ranked 49ers of Long Beach State 9-7 at Canyonview Pool on Thursday.
UCSD earned its seventh victory against a top-20 nationally ranked opponent, extending to a 19-12 overall record, while Long Beach State sits at 24-5.
“We tested ourselves all year against everybody in the top 20,” head coach Brad Kreutzkamp said. “We have seven top-20 wins right now and that’s not by accident. They have to keep powering these out, they’ve been in this position before, we’ve been down by three or four to come back and win so it’s nothing new for us.”
The youth of the Tritons roster pulled through as freshman Alexis Wieseler scored a team-high four goals and classmate Julia Kirkland added two of her own.
UCSD was quick to start as Jolene Guiliana earned the first sprint. The Tritons then scored the first goal of the game, just 38 seconds into play. After using the majority of their 35 second shot clock, they earned a reset after LBSU’s keeper Kelly Ringel tipped the ball out of play. Kirkland netted the opening goal off a pass in from Allison Delgado.
The 49ers answered back with Christina Kotsia scoring both the teams first quarter goals in 6-on-5 situations, taking a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.
Kotsia extended Long Beach States’ lead, scoring the first goal of the second quarter at the 7:05 mark, but the two-goal separation didn’t last long as Guiliana scored her first goal of the game off a fast break pass from Courtney Miller in cage.
Down 4-2, Wieseler began to make an impact, capitalizing off a Long Beach offensive call to score her first goal of the game. She then tacked on her second goal shortly after, getting past the sea of 49er field blocks.
With just 18 second remaining in the first half of play, Sarah Lizotte set and faked Ringel to bring the game to a tie at five entering the break.
After posting a game-high four goals in the second quarter, the Tritons slowly took control through the second half.
With the team down a man due to back-to-back ejections, Miller came up big with three major stops to try and keep the 49ers from regaining a lead, but couldn’t hold Coriann Snyder from connecting on the go-ahead goal.
Unanswered goals by Guiliana and Wieseler through the final three minutes of the third gave UCSD its first lead since the opening minute of play.
From there, the Tritons did not let go of the lead, only adding on as they led by as many as three goals just under the two minute mark after a back handed shot by Melissa Bartow made the score 9-6.
In goal, Miller had a solid showing, coming away with 12 saves in the four quarters.