Long Beach State scored two goals within the final minutes of the game to secure a 2-1 win over Cal Poly on Thursday, Oct. 3 in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. The Mustangs were minutes from opening the Big West Conference with a victory over the defending champions, but late heroics from Long Beach forward Elysia Laramie decided the game.
Despite netting her fourth goal of the season as the Mustang’s top scorer, freshman forward Camille Lafaix thinks her team can improve from their performance against Long Beach.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” Lafaix said. “Once again we didn’t play the full 90 minutes and we get consequences when that happens. I think we need to take this game and learn from it.”
The Mustangs started the match with a long ball down the right side of the field that nearly found sophomore midfielder Brooke Rubinstein, who could have had a chance on goal. Rubinstein was given another chance minutes later on a pass from sophomore defender Emily Talmi, but Long Beach goalkeeper Alemany Sanchez recovered the ball.
Long Beach began to gain momentum after shots from midfielder Ayana Robles and forward Katie Pingel forced senior goalkeeper Sophia Brown to make two saves.
Soon after, a low shot from Talmi was deflected by the Long Beach goalkeeper directly into the path of Lafaix. The freshman forward netted the opening-goal for a 1-0 Mustang advantage. Cal Poly finished the half strong and held onto their lead, but failed to secure another goal.
Long Beach State played sharp into the second half and almost created a chance on goal within the first minute. The Mustangs responded quickly as junior midfielder Megan Demijohn produced a shot in the 47th minute that sailed wide of the goal. Cal Poly were desperate to notch another goal and recorded six shots to force two saves in the second half alone.
High tensions arose when the game entered its final stages as nine fouls were committed between the two teams. Both sides traded chances on goal, but the match looked destined to end 1-0.
Then, in the 83rd minute, Brown dove for a ball that was heading out of play and conceded a corner kick in the process. The ball was lofted towards the back post and headed into the crossbar before falling to the feet of Laramie, who fired in the late equalizer.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, Laramie wasn’t finished just yet. Within a minute of her first goal, Laramie found a pass, drove into the box and chipped the Mustang goalkeeper to secure the win for Long Beach State.
“It’s disappointing, the result,” head coach Alex Crozier said. “I thought we played well. We scored a great goal in the first half… We could have put the game away.”
The Mustangs will begin a four-game road trip starting with Cal State Northridge next Thursday, Oct.10 at 7:00 p.m.