Men’s soccer pulls away with victory

It was a wild ride in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament for the California State University, Bakersfield men’s soccer team.

After clinching a WAC tournament berth on the final game of the regular season, the sixth-seeded ’Runners made it all the way to the finals of the WAC Tournament, but fell in dramatic fashion to top-seeded University of Nevada-Las Vegas as they lost in a penalty kick shootout, 4-2 on Nov. 16 at Seattle, Wash.

CSUB (10-7-5) came away with a victory in the semifinals in a penalty kick shootout, but the ‘Runners found themselves in a deficit against UNLV (15-4-3) for the first time in the tournament.

A goal in the 16th minute by UNLV’s redshirt-junior forward Corey Ackley gave the Rebels a first half lead, but CSUB redshirt-freshman forward Julian Zamora, who was named to the All-WAC first team, tied the game with a goal in the 71st minute and sent the game into overtime. In overtime, neither team was able to score, so a penalty kick shootout was needed to decide the winner.

All of UNLV’s shooters scored on their penalty attempts, but two of the ’Runners shot attempts were blocked by Rebels redshirt-senior goalkeeper Ryan Harding. The two CSUB players that scored were redshirt-senior midfielder Joe Masumiya and junior midfielder Mario Iniguez.

“We came a long way as a program this week,” said CSUB head coach Richie Grant to

On Nov. 14, CSUB faced off against No. 2 seed Seattle University (11-5-3) in the semifinals. They tied against SU 0-0 on the final game of the regular season, which clinched the WAC Tournament berth for the ’Runners.

CSUB took an early lead when redshirt-junior midfielder Anthony Perez scored in the 23rd minute, but SU was able to tie it up in the 58th minute with a goal from sophomore defender Kyle Bjornethun. The game went into overtime, but neither team was able to score so the game would be decided in a penalty kick shootout. It took until the fifth round to decide a winner.

With the shootout at 3-3, redshirt-junior goalkeeper Anthony Perez stopped the Redhawks’ attempt and set the stage for freshman midfielder Edan Mendoza to win the shootout for CSUB, 4-3.

On Nov. 13, CSUB faced off against third-seeded Utah Valley University (9-7-2), who beat CSUB at home 3-1 last Sunday, in the first round of the tournament, and the ’Runners were able to beat the Wolverines 1-0. The CSUB goal came from Zamora in the 12th minute.

“I want to thank and acknowledge our senior class,” Grant said to “They are super people and we are proud of the way the led our program.”