UCSB Succumbs to Long Beach on OT Penalty Kick, 2-1

Alyssa Benjamin (L) and Makenna Henry (R).  (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Alyssa Benjamin (L) and Makenna Henry (R). (Photo by Tony Mastres)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Visiting Long Beach State scored on a penalty kick 59 seconds into overtime on Friday night to defeat UC Santa Barbara 2-1 in the Big West Conference women's soccer opener for both teams. 

Shawna Gordon took the PK for the 49ers (8-3-1 overall, 1-0-0 in the Big West) after the Gauchos were whistled for a hand ball inside the penalty box.  Gordon drove the ball to goalkeeper Makenna Henry's right side for the score.

Long Beach State dominated the first half, outshooting UCSB 8-0, but led just 1-0 at intermission. 

The 49ers scored the games first goal at 21:22 when the Big West's leading goal scorer Nadia Link carried the ball into the center of the penalty box and made a nifty pass to her left, finding Nicole Hubbard who slid the ball into the lower left corner of the goal.  It was Hubbard's sixth goal of the season.

Just over 11 minutes into the second half, at the 56:15 mark, the Gauchos tied the score. 

Junior midfielder Katy Roby boomed a corner kick from the right side into the area near the middle of the goal.  Freshman midfielder Kelly McGrath made her way through traffic and headed UCSB's first shot of the match past 49er goalkeeper Kaitlyn Gustaves. 

The second half was much more even than the first with Long Beach holding a narrow 5-3 advantage in shots.  Henry kept the Gauchos in the match with a pair of saves, but she also made solid decisions coming off of her line and had a handful of outstanding punch-outs on crosses, including nine 49er corner kicks.

UCSB was playing without two of its most effective players in senior midfielder and team captain Cory Yoshida and sophomore midfielder Erica Shelton, last week's Big West Offensive Player of the Week.  Both players were out with injuries.

Santa Barbara returns to Meredith Field at Harder Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 2 when it hosts Cal State Fullerton in a 1:00 p.m. match.  Tickets will be available one hour prior to kick-off.  They may also be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Building on campus or online by clicking here.  

For the convenience of fans, the ICA Ticket Office is once again open on Saturdays from 10am-1pm and there are two convenient parking spots available in the service area between the ICA Building and Robertson Gymnasium.

Sunday's UCSB-Cal State Fullerton match will also be streamed live on Big West TV.  Click here to access stream.

Video: 9/30 Women's Soccer: UCSB Drops Conference Opener to Long Beach State in OT, 2-1
Sep 30, 2011