PHOENIX, Ariz. – A second-half comeback came up short for CSU Bakersfield’s women’s soccer team on Friday night as Grand Canyon came away with a 2-1 victory. Sabrina Delgado’s goal in the 55th minute helped the Roadrunners tie the match, but the ‘Lopes scored late in the match to seal the win.
“For the first time this season, we weren’t anywhere near the standards that we set for ourselves,” said Gary Curneen, CSUB’s head coach. “We picked it up in the second half and got back in the game, but overall, we paid the price for a poor start. Our intensity, energy, and aggression levels have been a huge part of our team identity and without those, we won’t reach the required level of performance. We will pick ourselves back up, learn from it, and make sure we get it right before the conference games arrive.”
The two teams played to a scoreless first half with GCU enjoying the majority of possession. CSUB’s defense did well to keep the ‘Lopes off the board while Grand Canyon outshot the ‘Runners 6-1 in the opening 45 minutes.
Ten minutes into the second half, Grand Canyon took a 1-0 lead thanks to McKenzie Cook’s goal. The forward broke away from the ‘Runner backline and beat CSUB keeper Jen Padilla one-on-one for a one-goal advantage.
In the 72nd minute, CSUB responded with the equalizer. Defender Karolina Karnsund played the ball to Delgado at the top of the 18-yard box. Bakersfield’s midfielder buried a shot into the top right corner to tie the match at 1-1. Delgado, who came into the week tied for first in the Western Athletic Conference in goals, netted her sixth of the season on Friday.
Grand Canyon broke the tie at 82:32 with nearly the same play as its first goal. Cook escaped the defense again and beat Padilla for her second goal of the night and third of the season. Trailing 2-1 and with less than eight minutes left in the match, the ‘Runners were unable to find their second equalizer and fell to GCU in Arizona.
The Roadrunners (3-7-1) will be back in action Sunday, Sept. 25, when they take on UC Riverside in CSUB’s final non-conference match of the season. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Riverside, Calif. on Sunday.