CSUB Men’s soccer takes on GCU for a 2-1 win

Susan Rodriguez, Sports Reporter

The Runners celebrate their first win of the season on CSUB Main Soccer Field on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Photo by Alea Gaona.

The 103-degree heat added to the intensity of the evening on September 1. The crowd, the players, and a stampede of freshmen CSUB students who took to the soccer field during half time in the annual Rowdy Run definitely added to the rush while the men’s soccer team prepared to take on Grand Canyon University.

Following two away losses for the CSUB men’s soccer team, the team beat GCU 2-1. The men played strong defense, only letting Grand Canyon University score one goal throughout the night. There was action and true teamwork that was visible from the stands as CSUB defensively forced an offside against GCU in the first 9 minutes. This kept the momentum up and allowed for CSUB to move up the field quickly.

CSUB blocked not one but two corner shots from GCU within the first 15 minutes of the game. Junior defender Juan Pablo Alvarez (4) barely missed his opportunity with the corner shot. GCU’s goalie was able to tip it and allowed for a quick defeat of the shot.

As the crowd serenely watched the game, CSUB was able to score the first goal of the night. Within the 18th minute mark sophomore forward Rene Cortez (9) scored with an assist by Alvarez. Their continued rush up and down the field and quick movements allowed for the score.

As for half time, the Rowdy Runners who are made up of the freshmen class were invited to sprint across the field to show their support for the team. This is an ongoing tradition for opening night soccer games at. CSUB. This year marks 10 years.

The intensity of this first scoring play of the night was something Head Coach Ritchie Grant emphasized that the men worked on throughout the whole game.

Coach Grant also talked about the importance of the environment, “It was the opening night at home, the men tend to step up”. This did not fall far from short as the next goal was scored by senior Carlos Armendariz (10) with an assist by Cortez (9). Coming together as a team is what helped ensure the night’s win.

After the game, Cortez (9) said, “As the season has progressed, we’ve come a long way. Before we came in individually trying to win games, but that didn’t really work. These past few games coming in playing as a team and finding our special players that we look for in the box has really helped.”

Besides coming out on top with a win of 2-1, Coach Grant reiterates the importance of moving forward of not allowing simple goals being made and the progression the team is heading toward, “Changing formation and energy levels”.

Increased competitiveness is something the fans should look forward to in future games, such as their game Sunday.

Freshman midfielder Cristian Moran (16), who was ecstatic for his first win at CSUB, said “Feels good, there was intensity from the start of the game.”