BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--The Bakersfield men's soccer team overcame an early two-goal deficit to defeat UNLV 4-3 in the regular season finale for both schools on Saturday night.
The Rebels (7-10-1, 5-4-1 WAC) used a pair of set pieces to take the early advantage. Sebastian Hernandez deflected a Rodrigo Fuentes direct kick in third minute to open the scoring. Bradley Kamdem made it 2-0 when scored off a direct kick 5:30 later.
Danny Corral (Fr., San Jose, Calif., Mount Pleasant HS) broke the seal for the 'Runners (8-8-2, 6-3-1 WAC) in the 17th minute when he converted on a pair of touch passes from Joe Masumiya (R-Jr., Lakewood, Calif., Lakewood HS) and Eduardo Caldaza (So., South Los Angeles, Calif., Roosevelt HS). Calzada tied the score at 26:44 when he took a pass from Jonathan Colunga (Fr., Lindsay, Calif., Lindsay HS) and dribbled around Rebels' goalie Ryan Harding for the tally.
Calzada's sixth goal of the year came with 1:59 to go in the first half and gave Bakersfield the lead for the first time on the night. CSUB went up a man in the 51st minute when UNLV's Carlos Lara was ejected upon his second yellow card of the night. The Rebels overcame the disadvantage and tied the match in the 60th minute when Corey Ackley flicked the ball over 'Runner goalie Anthony Perez (R-So., Fontana, Calif., Bloomington HS) to make it 3-3.
David Velaquez (R-Jr., Los Angeles, Calif., Locke HS) scored the gamewinner for the Roadrunners with 8:54 to play. Velasquez took a long pass from Caldaza through the goalkeeper's box for the winner. The Rebels would go down another man with just five to play when Hernandez was ejected for a foul.
“It was a strange game," said Bakersfield head coach Simon Tobin. "We spotted them two goals in the first eight minutes, but the good part about that is there was still plenty of the game left for us to come back. We have a good enough attacking team where we can score goals. I don’t think we were particularly worried, but we made hard work of it. We kept doing the things we should have been doing, so we came out on top.”
With the victory, the Roadrunners clinch the No. 2 seed in next week's WAC Tournament. As such, CSUB will play Kansas City in the first round on Thursday at 3 p.m. (MST) at the Air Force Academy.
“It doesn’t feel as good as if we had locked up first place," Tobin said. "Our goal was to be first place because first place gets a bye. It’s ok, though. We just have to win three games now to get to the NCAAs rather than two games.”
The WAC Tournament will run Nov. 14, 15, and 17 at Air Force.