Ready or not, first-year point guard thrust into prominent role

As the Long Beach State women's basketball team took the floor for its first exhibition game last Saturday, freshman point guard Brandi Henton made her LBSU debut.  With senior guard Melanie Lisnock on the injured list, the newcomer from Modesto Christian High School looks to step up to the task and fill her shoes early this season.  "It's a good feeling, being out there on the court," Henton says. "Now I have to prove myself and let them know that this freshman can do what the juniors and seniors are doing. I like the pressure; I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders in high school." Seven incoming freshmen are expected to set a foundation and be the future of the team, and Henton says she is excited. "Rather than going to a school that is ranked or already better, I like it better here," she says. "I get to [help] start something new being the underdogs." In high school, Henton helped guide the Crusaders to three Sac-Joaquin Section championships and scored 32 points in a game to set a school record. Henton says LBSU head coach Jody Wynn told her that her role this season is to be

By | 2010-11-10T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 10, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Basketball|

49ers to limp into season opener without ‘set lineup’

Second-year head coach Jody Wynn may have to sit and watch what becomes of her Long Beach State women's basketball team like everybody else this season. The 49ers, who finished 13-17 overall and 9-7 in the nine-team Big West Conference last season, were picked to finish seventh by the media in front of just Pacific and Cal State Northridge. LBSU will enter the 2010-11 season with an injury-depleted roster, and senior Melanie Lisnock is the latest addition to the MASH unit. The 5-foot-7 point guard will miss at least six weeks after an MRI revealed a stress fracture underneath her left kneecap. Four other injured guards — fifth-year senior Courtney Jacob, sophomore transfer Jhakia McDonald, and freshmen Alex Sanchez and Chantel Dooley — have been sidelined since the team's first official practice Oct. 5. "There's no feeling sorry because we're down six bodies," Wynn said after the 49ers' 19-point exhibition loss to Division II program Cal Poly Pomona last Saturday. "All six of them could fight for the starting lineup. "I don't want to use it as an excuse, but that's reality. ... Not a lot of experience is on the floor everyday in practice." Practices are now turning into

By | 2010-11-10T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 10, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Basketball|

Bullock wins Big West Midfielder of the Year

Long Beach State senior Lindsay Bullock was the named the Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year for the second time in her career Tuesday. Bullock, who also won the award in 2008, joined teammates Shawna Gordon and Nadia Link on the All-Big West First Team. It was the third career first-team honor for Bullock, second for Gordon and first for Link. Defenders Alex Balcer and Bo Rael were named to the second team, while juniors Nicole Hubbard and Emily Kingsborough were honorable mention selections. Bullock led the 49ers in shot attempts (54) and finished second on the team in goals (7) and points (16). Six of her goals came in Big West play, including a hat trick against Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 17. Link led the ‘Niners with eight goals and 17 points in a breakout season. The sophomore was earned player of the week, as well as the Big West's weekly honor, after a four-goal weekend (Aug. 23-29). Gordon scored four goals, added seven assists and compiled 15 points for The Beach. She was also selected as one of's primetime performers in early October. Balcer and Rael started every game this season and helped the

By | 2010-11-09T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 9, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Soccer|

LBSU headed to Stanford for NCAAs

Despite winning the Big West Conference tournament championship, the Long Beach State women's soccer team seemingly got the raw end of the deal when the ESPNU selection show revealed the NCAA tournament bracket Monday. The 49ers (14-5-3) will play Santa Clara (12-6-3) Friday in the first round of the 64-team NCAA Women's College Cup. The teams will play at 4:30 p.m. at Stanford's Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif. "I think [making the NCAA tournament] validates our program," LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. "[Santa Clara] is a possession-oriented team, maybe, [like] a Pepperdine-style [team] where they try to possess and create [scoring opportunities]." Top-seeded Stanford (18-0-2), the only unbeaten team in the nation, will face Sacramento State (9-9-1) at 7 p.m. in the other matchup of the Stanford Regional. The winners will meet Sunday in the second round at Cagan Stadium at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, fellow Big West member and regular-season conference champion UC Irvine (17-2-2), which lost to the 49ers in the conference finals, will host its own regional and play Arizona State at Anteater Stadium on Friday. "Well, [UCI] had a great year and their [Ratings Percentage Index] was high," Ingrassia said. "It is what it

By | 2010-11-08T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 8, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Soccer|

LBSU soccer punches ticket to NCAA tournament

IRVINE — The Long Beach State women's soccer team overcame its toughest obstacle of the season Sunday and made some history in the process. Tabbed to finish sixth in the preseason coaches' poll after finishing eighth in the Big West Conference last season, the second-seeded 49ers captured their first postseason title in a 1-0 upset over top-seeded UC Irvine at Anteater Stadium. The Beach (14-5-2) clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, tied the school record for most wins in a season and snapped the Anteaters' 14-match winning streak. It was UCI's first loss since late August and the first time it was held scoreless in a match this season. "It's a great feeling," LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. "Especially because we did it against one of the best teams in the West Coast this year … nothing was going to deter us from [winning the championship]. We had to have that type of mentality and execution — and a little luck too." Senior defender Bo Rael delivered the game-winning goal in the 53rd minute. Forward Nicole Sweetman sent a corner kick into the box that found Rael, who then drilled a header into the net. "I couldn't

By | 2010-11-07T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 7, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Soccer|

Turnovers, rebounding issues cost LBSU in exhibition

Box score Outside of the first four minutes, not a whole lot went right for the Long Beach State women's basketball team Saturday night. The 49ers lost, 58-39, to Division II program Cal Poly Pomona in an exhibition game in front of 500 fans at the Walter Pyramid. It is the second consecutive year that the ‘Niners have lost an exhibition game to the Broncos. LBSU managed just 15 second-half points on 6-of-22 shooting (27.3 percent) and finished 16 of 55 (29.1 percent) for the game. Freshman guard Brandi Henton was the lone 49er to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-12 from the field, but also committed 10 turnovers. LBSU failed to show much patience running the offense and, as a result, turned the ball over 31 times. Pomona scored 22 points off turnovers. "If we're going to allow people to have second-chance opportunities, and we're going to turn the ball over 30 times a game, and we're not going to shoot the ball worth a darn and continue to foul, then we're going to lose to anybody," an animated second-year head coach Jody Wynn said. "It's obviously embarrassing but we've just got to keep working.

By | 2010-11-06T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 6, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Basketball|

LBSU one win away from NCAA tournament

Box score One more win is all that stands in between the Long Beach State women's soccer team and its first Big West Conference tournament championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. The second-seeded 49ers (13-5-2) edged No. 3 Cal State Northridge, 2-1, in a Big West Conference tournament semifinal match Thursday in front of a roaring crowd of 460 fans at George Allen Field. Senior forward Nikki Myers delivered the game-winning goal in the 80th minute. Marysol Rosas fired a cross into the box for a trailing Myers, who then drilled a one-touch shot in mid-air that dropped into the net to give the ‘Niners a 2-0 lead. "I recruited Nikki [Myers] because she scored over 125 goals or something like that in [high school]," LBSU head coach Mauricio Ingrassia said. "She understands surfaces and times good runs into the box … and for this one to sink in with [10] minutes left to go is great." The win propelled the 49ers into Sunday's championship showdown against No. 1 UC Irvine, which defeated No. 4 Pacific, 2-1, in Thursday's other semifinal. The Beach will travel to Irvine for a noon match at UCI's Anteater Stadium. The 49ers broke

By | 2010-11-04T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 4, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Soccer|

49ers to host CSUN in Big West semifinal

The Long Beach State women's soccer team will begin its quest to get back to the NCAA tournament today at George Allen Field. Head coach Mauricio Ingrassia's No. 2-seeded squad will host the No. 3 Cal State Northridge Matadors in the Big West Conference tournament semifinals at 3 p.m. The Beach (12-5-2, 5-2-1 Big West) won the only match between the two teams, 2-1, on Oct. 24. The highly physical match helped propel the 49ers into second place behind No. 11 UC Irvine (16-1-2, 8-0-0 Big West) in the conference standings. Two yellow cards were handed out late in the match to CSUN defender Stephanie Norton and 49ers goalkeeper Emily Kingsborough. There was also a combined 21 fouls called on the two teams, with The Beach picking up 12 of them. All the scoring in that contest came in the first half with goals being scored by a pair of LBSU seniors. The 49ers' second-leading goal scorer Lindsay Bullock notched the game-winning goal in the 32nd minute. Fellow senior Bo Rael helped the ‘Niners get out to an early lead after scoring her first goal of the season at the 4:08 mark of the match. How they stack up The

By | 2010-11-03T00:00:00+00:00 Nov 3, 2010 | 12:00 am|Categories: Sports, Women's Soccer|
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