BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s women’s soccer team was two minutes away from earning its first-ever victory over Seattle U in 18 all-time matches, but the Redhawks scored an equalizer near the end of regulation and put the match away in overtime to take a 3-2 win from the Roadrunners on Sunday afternoon at the Main Soccer Field.
After the match, CSUB’s Head Coach, Gary Curneen, talked about his team closing the gap between itself and the Western Athletic Conference’s top programs: “The higher the level, the smaller the margins are between winning and losing. I thought today our effort was phenomenal, our work rate was phenomenal, and our play was excellent at times. When you drop your guard, they take advantage, and that’s top level at any sport. We are fighting to compete at that level.”
The ‘Runners broke the game open in the 22nd minute. Redshirt sophomore Aminah Settles connected with redshirt freshman Jordin Bartel for the second time in as many games when Settles lofted a ball over the top from behind the midfield line. The searching pass found Bartel on the run and she netted her second goal of the weekend to give Settles her second assist.
“Jordin and Aminah have struck up a unique partnership,” said Curneen of his strike partners. “It’s quite traditional in the sense of what they do together. They are working for each other and helping this team. They both had phenomenal weekends.”
Seattle U answered back in the 38th minute. Sunshine Soriano stole a pass from the CSUB backline and dribbled her way to the left side of the box. After getting the CSUB keeper to commit, the Redhawk forward cut back to the middle, fired to the right side, and nicked the post to score her first of the season and equalize the match at 1-1.
After a frantic 20 minutes to open the second half, the ‘Runners created a penalty kick opportunity. Redshirt sophomore Alexa Orrante fired to the right side and netted her third PK and fourth goal of the season to put CSUB ahead 2-1 in the 68th minute.
At 87:56, Seattle U answered with its second equalizer of the match. A cross in from Hannah Carrothers found Ayana Robles, who put the ball away to make the score 2-2. Two minutes and two seconds into overtime, CSUB keeper Jen Padilla saved a hard shot from Robles, but the rebound fell right to SU’s Brie Hooks. The senior forward buried her sixth goal of the season for the golden-goal game-winner.
With the loss, CSUB fell to 5-8-1 (1-1-0 WAC) on the season as the ‘Runners continue to look for their sixth win. A sixth would tie CSUB’s win total from the 2015 season, which is also the most all-time in CSUB Division I history. Sunday’s match was also CSUB’s seventh straight decided by one goal with the ‘Runners going 3-4 in that span. The Redhawks improved to 7-5-1 (2-0-0 WAC) with the win.
Curneen’s perspective on this weekend is one looking to the future: “We looked at this weekend as a microcosm of the WAC Tournament. We are going to have to play back-to-back games and beat big teams. What’s the physical energy and what’s the emotional energy that we will have to put in? I think a lot of questions have been answered this weekend in a positive way. It would have been really nice to walk away here with a W and make history, but I would be happy enough with making progress now and making history in a month’s time.”
The Roadrunners are scheduled to continue WAC play with a pair of road matches next week. CSUB will travel to play Chicago State Oct. 14 before rounding out its road trip at UMKC Oct. 16. The ‘Runners will return to the Main Soccer Field on Oct. 21 while the WAC Tournament is set for early November.