LAS VEGAS – A pair of goals in the final three minutes of the match helped the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners make a run against a strong UNLV women’s soccer team, but the Rebels held on for a 3-2 win on Friday night.
“We felt that we were in control of the game in the first half, but UNLV scored two brilliant goals from distance,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “We gave ourselves a mountain to climb. Our response was phenomenal and we showed great character to fight back, but again, we need to improve in one or two key areas so we can edge these close games.”
CSUB did indeed control a fair bit of possession in the first half. The ‘Runners created several opportunities with free kicks and corner kicks in the opening period, but fortune did not smile on CSUB for a goal in the first half.
In the 35th minute, UNLV took a 1-0 lead thanks to Sophie Cortes’ stunning goal. Off of a free kick, Cortes received the ball 20 yards out on the right side of the box. She took one dribble to the left, then floated the ball to the upper left V for a brilliant goal.
The Rebels’ second goal of the night came at 41:48 off of Lily Sender’s foot. The striker launched a ball from 30 yards out that floated over CSUB’s keeper’s head for another miraculous goal. In the second half, UNLV made the score 3-0 with 26 minutes to play on Susie Bernal’s goal.
CSUB would not go down without a fight and proved to give UNLV everything it could handle. In the 88th minute, a hand ball in the box by UNLV created a penalty kick for CSUB’s Alexa Orrante, who converted on the opportunity, cutting the score to 3-1.
At the 89:05 mark, sophomore Sabrina Delgado sent a free kick into the box. The midfielder’s low, bouncing drive ricocheted off of multiple players and ultimately found junior Maja Green, who put away the ball. Down just 3-2 with 55 seconds remaining, the ‘Runners were unable to mount a final attack to complete the comeback. UNLV improved to 6-2-0 with the victory while CSUB fell to 2-6-1.
Orrante’s goal was her second of the season, both of which came off of penalty kicks. Green netted her first goal of the year, bringing her career total to eight and tying the native of Sweden for 16th-most in CSUB history. Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Bertram made her third straight start and had five saves on the night before sophomore Jen Padilla subbed in for the final 30 minutes.
The Roadrunners will return home this Sunday for a contest against Idaho at the Main Soccer Field. Kick off for that match is set for 1 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the gate or ahead of time at GoRunners.com/tix. Fans who cannot make it to the match can watch live via the WAC Digital Network.