By Jarrod Castillo Editor
Photo: Long Beach State sophomore forward Mackenzie Magaoay (28) and sophomore midfielder Makayla Soll (12) celebrate with freshman midfielder/forward Sierra Castles (11) on Sep. 7 vs. St. John./LBSU Athletics
Two minutes and 46 seconds.
That’s how long it took Long Beach State junior forward Taylor Bistline to find the back left corner of the net, giving the Beach a 1-0 lead against the St. John Red Storm, with the help of senior midfielder Rocio Rodriguez.
Make no mistake about it, the Beach (4-3-0) needed this win after dropping the previous two in close contests against Texas A&M and Auburn University. From the jump though, Long Beach State showed it was ready.
After scoring a goal in the first three minutes, the Beach continued the pressure. In the 19th minute, senior midfielder Dana Fujikuni slid in another goal to the bottom right of the net thanks to Rodriguez’s low cross in the box, making it 2-0.
11 minutes later in the 30th minute, it would be 3-0 as Fujikuni again found herself the recipient of another goal when she made her way down to the right side, crossing it into the far left post past the goal line.
“It was great to finally put six goals in the back of the net in one game,” Fujikuni said. “It just shows how much progress we’re making and I’m so excited to continually take the next steps into the next games.”
Down 3-0, St. John decided to switch goalkeepers to start the second half. It wouldn't matter, however, as 25 seconds into the half, Rodriguez would net a goal herself, compliments of senior forward Ashley Gonzales. This gave Rodriguez two assists and a goal for the game.
“It was a good collective team win,” Rodriguez said. “It definitely builds my confidence and allows me to play more free and be more confident in what I do.”
With the score 4-0 in favor of the Beach, Long Beach State continued to pile it on, with sophomore forward Mackenzie Magaoay and sophomore midfielder Makayla Soll scoring in the 65th and 71st minute, putting six goals on the scoreboard.
“They’re just taking the next step as a group, which is to come in here and take care of their home field,” head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. “They were focused from minute one and this team is growing week by week.”
All in all, what was expected to be a competitive match quickly became a laugher as Long Beach State completely dominated St. John in all facets of the game. The Beach amassed a 21-6 shot advantage, had more corner kicks (10-3) and committed fewer fouls than St. John (12-7). Additionally, The Beach’s 6-0 destruction of St. John matches a Long Beach State record.
The Beach will embark on a quick two-game road trip starting with a matchup against no. 3 ranked University of Southern California on Friday, Sept. 14 and concluding on Monday, Sept. 17, against Brigham Young University. The last home game before Big West Conference play will be on Saturday, Sept. 22 against Loyola Marymount University at 7 p.m.