Nebraska soccer vs. Purdue Photo No. 2

Nebraska's midfielder Meg Brandt (32) fights to keep the ball from Purdue's defender Hannah Mussallem (21) during the game at Barbara Hibner Soccer Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Nebraska soccer team started its west coast trip on a high note Friday night, downing Long Beach State 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory. 

The Huskers (1-2-1), have improved in every game this season—and Friday night’s performance was no different. Like last weekend’s games against Clemson and Baylor, Nebraska was the aggressor offensively from the opening kickoff. Seniors Meg Brandt, Brenna Ochoa and Savanah Uveges all recorded shots within the first 15 minutes of the match, but were unable to find the back of the net.

Being unable to finish has been the story of Nebraska’s first three games, firing 39 shots but only having one goal to show for it. Mental lapses in the back cost the Huskers victories against Baylor and Clemson—victories Nebraska should’ve been able to pull out as they dominated both games in all aspects.

Friday’s match began to look more like a repeat of last weekend rather than an improvement on it. Despite dominating the first 15 minutes, Nebraska nearly conceded as Long Beach State had great opportunities to score in the 17th and 18th minutes. Fortunately, senior goalie Aubrei Corder came to the rescue with two huge saves to keep the game scoreless.

Nebraska continued to fire shots at Long Beach State’s goal, but couldn’t break through before halftime.

Long Beach State (1-3) continued to weather the Huskers’ attack in the second half, dodging offensive efforts by Ochoa, sophomore Dakota Chan and freshman Emma Marcus. However, like the Clemson game, letting Long Beach State hang around too long proved costly for the Huskers. 

In the 55th minute Long Beach State was awarded a penalty, and junior forward Kaylee Ramirez fired a shot that trickled under Corder’s arms and into the back of the net. For the third time this season, Nebraska found themselves trailing in a game they should be winning.

However, unlike previous games this season, Nebraska responded. In the 66th minute, Chan fired a long-range strike into the top corner of the net on an assist from sophomore Olivia Brown. Not only did the goal tie the game, it also was the Canadian’s first goal for the Huskers.

Chan’s goal energized Nebraska, and they spent the remaining 24 minutes trying to break down Long Beach State’s defense one more time. That opportunity came in the 75th minute when senior defender Sinclaire Miramontez collected an Ochoa corner kick in the box and hit it past the goalkeeper to take the lead and complete the comeback. 

Miramontez, who was named to the Mac Hermann Trophy Watch List before the season, tied her career high for goals in a season with her second of the year Friday night. Miramontez also played 90 minutes against Long Beach State, an encouraging sign as she continues to work back from an ACL injury.

Long Beach State could not find a late equalizer, and the Huskers came away with their first victory of the season. Friday’s result is monumental for Nebraska going forward, as they finally put away a game they dominated from start to finish.

Nebraska will look to continue improving as it faces its biggest test of the season on Sunday—a date with No. 4 USC. Sunday’s match kicks off at 2 p.m. CT and is the last of Nebraska’s two-game California road trip.