Soccer, Sports, Women's Sports

Long Beach State soccer wraps up positive season

Long Beach State women’s soccer finished the regular season games last Thursday with a 4-2 win against Hawai’i before falling to UC Irvine 4-1 during the first round of the Big West Soccer Championship.

The Beach were preseason favorites to win the Big West and finished with a 5-3-2 conference record and 10-6-4 overall, placing fourth in the Big West standings.

Seven players from The Beach were recognized by The Big West Conference with postseason accolades and is headlined by sophomore midfielder Cherrie Cox taking home Offensive Player of the Year.

Cox led LBSU in scoring with 13 goals along with four assists and was essential to the offensive attack.

She joins junior midfielders Maddy Perez and sophomore Makayla Demelo in representing The Beach with first team all-conference recognition. Perez has become a first team regular within the conference and received the postseason honor in three consecutive seasons.

Head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said his team faced a lot of adversity throughout the season and was proud of his team’s fight.

“It was a great year in terms of growth and showing glimpses of our potential, and I don’t think we’ve peaked,” Ingrassia said.

He said the 3-0 loss to Fullerton was a character defining moment for the season despite the result.

Ingrassia was especially proud of his team’s spirit and tenacity for the final 75 minutes of the loss, especially given the circumstances that they were down a goal and down junior goalkeeper Zora Standifer due to a red card.

Senior forward Elysia Laramie and freshman defender Brooklyn Antonucci were named to the Big West all second team. Antonucci was named to the all-freshman team along with fellow defender Kana Uchida and Standifer was named as an honorable mention.

Laramie scored four goals in 15 minutes against Boston College back in August for The Beach and she finished the season with eight goals and six assists.

Demelo earned high praise from Ingrassia as he said that she is developing into a reliable player in the midfield for Long Beach State.

“Makayla is the motor of the midfield,” Ingrassia said. “She’s steady and reliable, can mark anybody out of the game, can play defensively and offensively, linking up through the front or back.”

Long Beach played tough competition from Texas, Brigham Young University, San Diego State, Harvard, UCLA and Utah Valley. These opponents either were ranked at the time Long Beach State played them or had around a 70% winning percentage by the end of the season.

These opponents allowed Ingrassia’s young team to earn experience at the collegiate level. LBSU went 2-3-1 in those six non conference games.

The Beach’s win against Hawai’i secured the home playoff game against the reigning Big West Champions UC Irvine.

“I think it’s very important for us to get one more game at George Allen,” senior forward Kassandra Ceja said. The Fresno State transfer tallied four goals and four assists throughout her senior campaign.

“Everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to happen,” Ingrassia said. “The players need to be confident in the program and who we are.”

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