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Women's Soccer

Long Beach State Battles Miami In NCAA Tournament Second Round

Files associated with this release:
Women's Soccer Weekly Release No. 14

11/18/2011

Fresh off the program's first victory in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship, Long Beach State takes on Miami in second round action Friday at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.

NOTEWORTHY

KEEP AN EYE ON

Kaitlyn Gustaves, Long Beach State
Gustaves was rock solid in goal for the 49ers in their 1-0 overtime victory against Pepperdine in the NCAA Tournament First Round.  The senior posted a career-high 12 saves and her third consecutive shutout, extending her streak to 297 scoreless minutes.  The performance earned her national recognition as the CollegeSoccer360.com Primetime Player of the Week.  Gustaves ranks in the Big West single-season top 10 for shutouts (10 - t5th) and minutes played (2,015 - 3rd), while leading the league with a 0.80 goals against average.  Gustaves has helped anchor a stingy 49er defense that has allowed a conference-low 18 goals this season.

MORE NOTABLES

Long Beach State Records First NCAA Tourney Win
Long Beach State won an NCAA Tournament First Round game for the first time in program history, dispatching No. 7 Pepperdine 1-0 in overtime on Saturday in Malibu.  The 49ers had fallen by identical 1-0 scores in their two previous trips to the NCAA’s, losing to San Diego in 2008 and Santa Clara in 2010.  The third time was definitely a charm as Nadia Link scored in the 100th minute to propel the 49ers past the Waves and into Friday’s second round matchup with Miami (FL).  The 49ers and Hurricanes kickoff at 5:00 p.m. at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.  The other second round matchup pits San Diego against the host Bruins.  The two advancing teams meet in third round action on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

The 49ers also became only the second Big West team to win a true road match in NCAA Tournament play, joining the 1999 Cal Poly squad which upended Fresno State in the first round.  Big West teams had since lost eight consecutive postseason road games before the 49ers broke through.

Building A Tradition Of Success
With Long Beach State and UC Irvine representing the Big West in this year’s NCAA Championship field, it marks the third time in the last four seasons that the conference has sent two teams to postseason play.  It is also the fourth time since 2005 that the conference has had multiple NCAA Tournament representatives.  It is also the third time in Big West history that the league has posted at least one NCAA Tournament victory in back-to-back seasons.  Pacific (1998) and Cal Poly (1999) were the first Big West programs to record NCAA victories, followed by the 2005 and 2006 Cal State Fullerton squads.  UC Irvine’s trip to the Sweet 16 last year paired with Long Beach State’s first round win at Pepperdine is the latest successful postseason foray.

Long Beach State Sets School Record For Wins
Long Beach State has won a season-high six straight games entering its NCAA Tournament second round contest with Miami.  The 16 wins represent a school record, eclipsing the previous mark of 14 that the 2006, 2008 and 2010 clubs initially established.  In addition, the 49ers rank fourth in Big West history for most wins in a single season.  The 49ers have captured double-digit victories in six of the last seven season.  In the last five seasons, Long Beach State has won 62 games (62-34-10).

MOST OVERALL WINS IN A SEASON
School Year Wins Record
UC Irvine 2010 19 19-3-2
Cal State Fullerton 2005 19 19-4-0
Cal Poly 2003 18 18-2-2
Long Beach State 2011 16 16-5-1
Pacific 1998 15 15-3-3
Cal Poly 1997 15 15-6-0
UC Irvine 1997 15 15-7-0

Link’s Epic Season
Long Beach State junior Nadia Link, the 2011 Big West Offensive Player of the Year, is having one of the top seasons in Big West history.  The conference leader in goals (16), assists (10), points (42) and game-winning goals (7) ranks in the Big West single-season top 10 in all four categories.  She is tied for sixth all-time in goals and tied for seventh in assists.  Her 42 points rank as the third-most in Big West history while her seven game-winning goals is tied for second.  In addition, she is tied for 10th in the Big West career record book with 10 game-winning goals.

BIG WEST SINGLE SEASON TOP 10 - GOALS
25 Krystal Sandza, UC Santa Barbara 2002
22 Christy Johnson, North Texas 1997
17 Jennifer Borcich, UC Santa Barbara 2002
17 Dolores Browning, Cal State Fullerton 1996
17 Nicole Bucciarelli, UC Irvine 1996
16 Nadia Link, Long Beach State 2011
16 Regina McGee, Pacific 2002

BIG WEST SINGLE SEASON TOP 10 - POINTS
58 Krystal Sandza, UC Santa Barbara 2002
51 Christy Johnson, North Texas 1997
42 Nadia Link, Long Beach State 2011
41 Jennifer Borcich, UC Santa Barbara 2002
41 Dolores Browning, Cal State Fullerton 1996

Don’t Forget About Gordon

The 2011 Big West Midfielder of the Year, Shawna Gordon is as integral to Long Beach State’s success as anyone on the field.  The senior ranks fifth in Big West history with 24 career assists.  Gordon’s 10 assists this season tie for the league lead with teammate Nadia Link.

How The Beach Got Here
Long Beach State invaded enemy territory for the second straight year and came away with its second straight Big West Tournament title, claiming the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The second-seeded 49ers handed No. 3 seed Cal State Northridge a 2-0 loss in the semifinals, and traveled to top-seeded UC Irvine for the championship game.  And in a repeat of 2010, LBSU defeated UCI 1-0 and celebrated on the home field of its rival.  In the 13th minute, Jazz Strozier knocked home a ball in front of the Eater net as consecutive headers by tournament Most Valuable Player Alex Balcer and Shawna Gordon set up the opportunity.  A rugged 49er defense shut down the Anteater offense, which suffered only its second shutout of the year, the other coming against top-ranked Stanford.

Can’t Have Just One
Long Beach State continued a Big West trend of repeating as tournament champion.  Since reinstating the tournament in 2003, the four victorious schools have hoisted the crown in consecutive years.  Cal Poly (2003, 2004), Cal State Fullerton (2005, 2006, 2007), UC Santa Barbara (2008, 2009) and now Long Beach State won at least two tournament championships in a row.

UC Irvine Repeats As Regular Season Champion
Perfection did not occur in 2011, but the lack of it did not prevent UC Irvine from winning its second straight Big West regular season championship.  After becoming the first team in Big West women’s soccer history to finish unbeaten and untied (8-0-0) in 2010, the Anteaters and head coach Scott Juniper entered the season as a prime target.  And they struggled to begin league play after tying UC Davis and losing to Pacific on the opening weekend.  However, UCI recovered to win its next six league games and dominated in the process, outscoring the opposition 15-1 and finishing with a league-best 19 points and 6-1-1 record.  UCI is the first Big West program to capture back-to-back regular season conference titles since Long Beach State won three straight (two shared) from 2006-08.

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