Los Angeles Soccer: Waleed Cassis

COLLEGE: One Cal State advances

November, 10, 2011
Cal State L.A. rallied from a two-goal deficit and prevailed on penalties, but Cal State Dominguez's Hills' comeback led to misery in Thursday's NCAA Division II tournament openers in Seattle.

Cal State L.A. toppled California Collegiate Athletic Association rival Chico State from the spot after a 2-2 draw in the first game of a doubleheader at Seattle Pacific University.

The host Falcons struck 79 seconds into overtime to knock out Dominguez Hills, 2-1.

Cal State L.A. (14-1-6), No. 17 in the D2 rankings, and No. 13 Seattle Pacific (14-3-2) meet Saturday night in a second-round game.

The Golden Eagles overcame a 2-0 deficit as Jason Swope converted a 67th-minute penalty kick after drawing a foul and Rosario Bras tallied off Marc Hess' free kick in the 83rd. The goals were Swope's and Bras' 11th of the season.

All four Cal State L.A. shooters -- Hess, Antti Arvola, Swope and Nicolas Assad (Winnetka/El Camino Real HS and Moorpark College) -- converted in the 4-1 triumph on penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Waleed Cassis made one stop, on Ferid Celosmanovic.

Chico State, which lost to Cal State L.A. in Sunday's CCAA tournament title game, outshot the Eagles, 22-12, but put only four attempts on target. The Wildcats (13-4-4) went ahead on Chris Akwaja's 36th minute header and were up, 2-0, when Octavio Guzman tallied 1:41 before Swope's PK.

In the second game, Dominguez Hills (12-6-2) forced overtime when Jordan Rover (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS) scored with just four seconds to go in regulation, but Christopher Morris' header from Evan Robicheau's 35-yard free kick at the start of the extra period sent Seattle Pacific through.

Jon Pearman scored in the ninth minute, from Morris' pass, to give the Falcons an early lead.

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COLLEGE: L.B. again wins Big West

November, 7, 2011

IRVINE -- Long Beach State is returning to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years after knocking off No. 24 UC Irvine in Sunday afternoon's Big West Conference women's tournament final.

Jazz Strozier scored in the 13th minute and the 49ers (15-5-1) backed it up with an organized defense led by goalkeeper Kaitlyn Gustaves and center back Alex Balcer, the tournament MVP.

It was the second straight year Long Beach State has won the title at Anteater Field after UCI captured the regular-season title.

“I thought it was a great day for Long Beach State,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “We came in with a game plan. We executed. ... [UC Irvine is] a very good team.

“We had to earn every inch that we got, but I think hats off to my team this year, because last year I told their coach I thought they were was the best team, when we shook hands, and I feel like this year we had the best team in the Big West.”

Strozier (Ventura/Buena HS and Ventura College) knocked home a corner kick from Loyola Marymount transfer Kelsey Wilson (San Clemente/San Clemente HS) that was first headed by Balcer and Shawna Gordon (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS). It ended a 435-minute shutout streak for the Anteaters, who had shut out their previous four and six of the previous seven foes.

Nadia Link (Rowland Heights/Walnut HS) nearly added to the lead seven minutes into the second half with a floater that Anteaters goalkeeper Jennifer Randazzo tipped onto the crossbar and away.

UCI (14-4-2), which is expected to receive an at-large berth when the 64-team field is unveiled Monday, nearly pulled even on a 60th-minute free kick by All-American CoCo Goodson, a blistering shot that slipped past the 49ers wall and required a diving save by Gustaves (Long Beach/Wilson HS).

Long Beach shifted from its customary 4-3-3 alignment to a 4-4-2 in the second half, with defender-turned-forward Nicole Hubbard (Lakewood/Mayfair HS) moving into midfield, then dropping deeper, right in front of the back four, in the closing minutes.

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