Late rally leads Roadrunners to tie Grand Canyon

CSUB%27s+redshirt-freshman+Alexa+Orrante+fights+to+gain+positioning+over+UC+Santa+Barbara+junior+midfielder+McKinsey+Martinez+on+Sept.+23+at+the+Main+Soccer+Field.+%0APhoto+by+AJ+Alvarado%2FThe+Runner
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Late rally leads Roadrunners to tie Grand Canyon

CSUB's redshirt-freshman Alexa Orrante fights to gain positioning over UC Santa Barbara junior midfielder McKinsey Martinez on Sept. 23 at the Main Soccer Field. 
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

CSUB's redshirt-freshman Alexa Orrante fights to gain positioning over UC Santa Barbara junior midfielder McKinsey Martinez on Sept. 23 at the Main Soccer Field. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

CSUB's redshirt-freshman Alexa Orrante fights to gain positioning over UC Santa Barbara junior midfielder McKinsey Martinez on Sept. 23 at the Main Soccer Field. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

CSUB's redshirt-freshman Alexa Orrante fights to gain positioning over UC Santa Barbara junior midfielder McKinsey Martinez on Sept. 23 at the Main Soccer Field. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Esteban Ramirez

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Despite falling behind late in the game, the CSU Bakersfield women’s soccer team rallied back to force a tie in its Western Athletic Conference opener against Grand Canyon University 1-1 on Sept. 26 at the Main Soccer Field.

GCU (3-6-1, 0-0-1 WAC) took the lead in the 77th minute off a goal from freshman forward Deseree Doty. However, CSUB (2-6-2, 0-0-1 WAC) responded later in the 77th minute with a goal from redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles, which was assisted by redshirt-freshman midfielder Alexa Orrante.

“Heads go down when the first goal gets scored by them, and you’re just thinking, ‘there’s only [13] minutes left. How are we going to get back in this?’ When it happens a minute later, it’s amazing and it’s awesome,” Settles said.

“Part of it you’re happy about because it’s a great response and part of it you want to stop the first goal,” CSUB coach Gary Curneen. “Ideally, you want to stop the first goal but it was a great response, it’s mental toughness, it’s weathering adversity and it’s we didn’t put our heads down but at the same time we would like to keep a shoutout in one of these games.”

“I’m really proud of what the girls did tonight,” Curneen said. “We didn’t get off to a bad start. We only got 12 shots in the first three minutes, but we settled down and stuck to our guns. Our guns are possession soccer and our guns are working very hard for one another, and I felt we did that very well tonight.”

Curneen added that even though it wasn’t a win, he was still pleased that they earned a point in the WAC opener.

“This will leave us in good standing, of course, we will have to build on it, of course, we are not happy where we are at yet but this is good progress for us,” he said. “Anytime we can come into conference and produce a performance like this and almost get the result, it’s good.”

CSUB also received the best performance of the year from redshirt-senior goalkeeper Tori Ornela, who finished with nine saves and recorded her 300th save of her career for the Roadrunners.

“I think we played really well,” Ornela said. “I think we got stuck in, we didn’t give up and it was a great performance, especially to get the result that we got.

“[Getting a tie] was important because it’s a result and not a defeat. It’s a great step, especially with this team. We have had troubles in the past with this team, but there are some things that we need to fix on this team and some mental mistakes that cost us a little bit. But if we can fix those and get back to work on Monday and keep moving forward, I believe we’ll get the results we want.”

In the first half, the Roadrunners were struggling to get their offense and the Antelopes had control of the game. However, as the game progressed, CSUB took control of the game more and more and even had a couple opportunities to win the game in overtime.

“I thought we were pretty slow in the first half and then in the second half, we got a lot better,” Settles said. “We started to possess, and we have been working on that a lot so we’ve been trying to play like that and when we did, I thought we started to control it a lot.”

CSUB will play next at New Mexico State on Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.