#17 Long Beach State Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

Long Beach State 49ers

Overall Rank: #17
Conference Rank: #1 Big West Conference
Long Beach State Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Long Beach State Team Page


The 2011 campaign for Long Beach State was one for the ages as they set a school record for wins with 18 and made a dramatic run all the way to the Elite Eight losing a hard-fought battle to Duke in Durham. The 49ers have been the gold standard of the Big West Conference in Women’s Soccer as they have won either  the regular season or conference tournament title  in five of the last six seasons. Also, they will be playing home games at George Allen Field under new lights, which should help increase the home field advantage for the 49ers.

2011 Record: 18-6-1, 6-2-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mauricio Ingrassia

This 49ers squad, with the return of Nadia Link, a senior who had 16 goals in 2011 and was the Big West Conference Player of the Year, brings a very potent offensive attack to the table in 2012. The 49ers scored 49 goals in 2011 and were very good in the second halves of matches to gain distance from their opponents.  Also, just simply knowing how to win in the postseason is going to be very vital as Long Beach State proved with its run to the Elite Eight that it can truly compete and succeed against the best of the best in Women’s College Soccer.

Replacing goalie Kaitlyn Gustaves is going to be vital for Long Beach heading into preseason camp. The two goalies slated to battle it out for the starting spot are sophomores Marrina Meyers and Kaci Mccain. A good potential candidate to pick up some of the scoring slack left by the graduation of Shawn Gordon and Nicole Hubbard is junior midfielder Kelsey Wilson. Wilson scored the game winning goal in the second round NCAA tournament game against the University of Miami that punched the 49ers ticket to the Sweet 16.

Final Projection:
The 49ers won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this season in the non-conference slate with road games at BYU and in the always hostile College Station against Texas A&M, along with a rematch against San Diego from last season’s Sweet 16. Other key contributors attempting a repeat run for the 49ers include senior Alex Balcer, who was a first-team all- Big West defender.  She will be counted on even more to anchor the back line until the goalie situation sorts itself out. If Nadia Link replicates her goal scoring from a year ago, and Long Beach State can develop some more scoring surrounding her, the 49ers should be able to survive any non-conference schedule setbacks and be the favorites to win the Big West Conference. It won’t be easy, as with the run to the Elite Eight, this team will get everyone’s best shot this season. However, I would suspect another chance to make some noise again in the 2012 Women’s NCAA Tournament. They will be challenged by the likes of UC Irvine in Big West play but overall the Long Beach State program should continue to build a niche as a perennial postseason participant with the potential to win games against the nation’s best.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Nadia Link, Senior, F, 16
Assists: Nadia Link, Senior, F, 10
Shots: Nadia Link, Senior, F, 78
Saves: None