No. 9 Long Beach State rallies in second half to beat No. 13 UC Santa Barbara
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- No. 9 Long Beach State used a 4-1 run led by Justine Morgan in the second half to sink the 13th-ranked UC Santa Barbara Guachos 9-5 on Sunday at the Campus Pool. Melissa Matheson, Chelsea Parks and Morgan led the 49ers with a pair of goals each, while Kelly Ringel grabbed a game-high 13 saves.
The win pushes LBSU's overall record to 23-5, one shy of tying the program record for most wins in a single season. With one match remaining in the regular season, LBSU has already won more conference matches this year (four) than it has in the past four seasons combined (three).
The last time Long Beach State defeated a conference opponent by four was back in 2007 against Cal State Northridge 8-4 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Both teams played cautiously in the first period taking up a majority of the shot clock on each possession. LBSU (23-5, 4-2 Big West) struck first with back-to-back goals from Coriann Snyder and Parks midway through the first, but the Gauchos (19-12, 2-4 Big West) responded with a 2-0 run of their own to make it 2-2 after the first.
Christina Kotsia recorded her 12th penalty goal of the year at 5:13 to give the 49ers a 3-2 lead. Julie Lantz's entry pass to Matheson in set extended the lead to 4-2 with 3:25 to play. UCSB netted two more goals to put the Gauchos within striking distance at 5-4 heading into the break.
Long Beach State took over in the second half, holding UC Santa Barbara to just one goal. The 49ers tacked on two more goals before Jade Fitzgerald netted the Guachos' lone goal in the half with 1:25 remaining in the third period to make it 7-5 in favor of the home team.
It was a bit more physical in the final period with 7 of 15 exclusions called in the fourth. Morgan pushed the 49ers lead back up to three at 6:05 just as UCSB went back to even strength after Olofsson-Loo was majored from the match. Parks' goal with 1:03 left solidified the 9-5 victory against UC Santa Barbara.