SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – An impressive goal with less than five minutes remaining in Sunday's contest between CSU Bakersfield's women's soccer team and Cal Poly boosted the Mustangs to a dramatic victory over CSUB. The Mustangs’ Stephanie Magellan curved a one-time half volley into the net at 86:52 to propel Cal Poly over the Roadrunners on the Central Coast.
“Obviously, it’s a tough way to lose, but I cannot fault the attitude, effort, and quality from our program today,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “There was very little separating the two teams and it was always going to come down to either a mistake or a moment of magic. The Cal Poly game-winning goal was pretty special.”
Curneen went on to talk about his team’s direction moving closer to conference play: “We are testing ourselves against top opposition and are getting better every week. Providing we maintain the hunger and desire to push on from these games, we will turn the corner very soon.”
Both teams matched up well and had an even first half of play. The score remained 0-0 through the first 45 minutes of action with both the ‘Runners and Mustangs taking five shots in the period. Sophomore Haley Vicente was the offensive aggressor for CSUB, taking three of the five shots. Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Bertram came up with three saves for CSUB while the ‘Runner defense cleared a ball off the line in the 18th minute for a fourth save.
The two teams battled toe to toe through the second half. In the 87th minute, after a corner kick was partially cleared by the ‘Runners, Cal Poly put the ball back in the box and found Magellan. From 10 yards out, the Mustang took a slicing shot off her left foot into the far side of the net for a 1-0 lead with just three minutes remaining on the clock.
CSUB responded with pressure in the final minutes including a free kick in Cal Poly’s final third with two minutes to go. The cross fell into the middle of a scrum but the Mustang keeper was able to corral the ball to safety. The ‘Runners put two more dangerous crosses into the box in the 90th minute, but Cal Poly's defense successfully parried the attacks.
The Mustangs, ranked the fifth-best team in the NCAA Division I West region coming into the week, improved to 4-2-1 with the victory while CSUB fell to 2-5-1. Bertram made six saves on the day, bringing her total over the last two games to 13. Vicente finished with four shots in the match while junior Maja Green played all 90 minutes. Green continues on as the only ‘Runner and one of just a handful of Western Athletic Conference student-athletes to play every minute this season.
CSUB will return to the pitch on Friday, Sept. 18, when the ‘Runners travel to Las Vegas for a match against UNLV. On Sunday, Sept. 20, Bakersfield will return home to host a strong Idaho squad. Kickoff on Friday is set for 7 p.m. while CSUB will host Idaho at 1 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets at GoRunners.com/tix or at the gate and those who cannot make it out to the Main Soccer Field can watch live via the WAC Digital Network.