October 16, 2015
Highlanders 2 – 49ers 1
The UC Riverside women’s soccer team continued to pave their way to a double-digit win season after their 2-1 victory over Big West foe, Long Beach State. The 49ers were 3-0 in conference play prior to the meeting. Going into Friday’s match, UCR and Long Beach State had similar records, as UCR stood at 8-5-0 overall and 2-1-0 in conference while the 49ers were 8-3-3 and 3-0-0.
The last time UCR went 3-0 in conference play was in 2011, which resulted in a conference title and an invitation to the NCAA Elite Eight. The Highlanders only need one more win to reach 10 total wins, which hasn’t been accomplished since 2006.
Blanca Barrio scored both of UCR’s goals on the evening, recording five for the season and 16 points overall.
Barrio scored her first goal Friday in the 21st minute from outside the box. Brittany Mata was awarded the assist as Barrio curled the shot to the upper left corner of the goalpost. Not only did this goal give the Highlanders a 1-0 advantage, but it also ended Cal State Long Beach’s nine-game shutout streak.
Barrio’s second goal came early in the second half, from 25 yards out, with a solo shot that went over McKeown. Long Beach would not score until the 70th minute as they were rewarded a penalty kick after UCR snagged a penalty in their box.
Long Beach’s Ashton McKeown, who has been awarded four Big West Defensive Player of the Week titles this year, struggled to contain the Highlanders all night. This means she needed help from the offense, yet despite LBSU having more opportunities to score — six of their 13 shots were on goal, compared to three of UCR’s seven — they were consistently unable to capitalize.
Perhaps this can be credited to Highlanders’ goalkeeper, Elizabeth Silas, who stopped four shots compared to McKeown’s one.
The star of the night was also the temporary villain, as Barrio was given a yellow card in the 85th minute of the game. However, UCR would hold the 49ers off for the remaining time and win the game.