Roadrunners beat the Aggies to earn first postseason victory

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Roadrunners beat the Aggies to earn first postseason victory

The CSUB women's soccer team celebrates after redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles scores a goal to put the Roadrunners up 2-0 in the second half against the Aggies at last year's Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

The CSUB women's soccer team celebrates after redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles scores a goal to put the Roadrunners up 2-0 in the second half against the Aggies at last year's Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

The CSUB women's soccer team celebrates after redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles scores a goal to put the Roadrunners up 2-0 in the second half against the Aggies at last year's Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

The CSUB women's soccer team celebrates after redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles scores a goal to put the Roadrunners up 2-0 in the second half against the Aggies at last year's Western Athletic Conference Tournament. Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

Esteban Ramirez

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It was something that had yet to be achieved in the CSU Bakersfield women’s soccer program’s history — win a postseason game.

That changed on Thursday as the No. 5 seed CSUB beat the No. 4 seed New Mexico State University, 2-1 in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at the Main Soccer Field.

“[This win] was a huge one,” CSUB coach Gary Curneen said. “It’s a big mental obstacle to overcome for these girls, so it’s great. We’ll enjoy this here and the good news is we have Seattle tomorrow, so, that will bring us back down to earth… It’s a special night for the program for sure.”

CSUB redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles moves the ball past the New Mexico State defense on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Main Soccer Field. Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

CSUB redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles moves the ball past the New Mexico State defense on Thursday, Nov. 5 at the Main Soccer Field.
Photo by Karina Diaz/The Runner

This win for the Roadrunners (6-11-3) not only was their first win but also tied the school record for most wins in a Division I season.

Freshman forward Haley Vicente said it meant everything to the team to be able to get the first postseason victory.

“It’s another huge step in our program and I can’t wait to see what else we have to do,” Vicente said. “It’s such a great feeling.”

The game was scoreless for 68 minutes. Then, Vicente attacked the Aggies (5-15) defense and attempted to pass the ball ahead but New Mexico State’s junior midfielder Morgan Campbell touched the ball with her hand inside the box, which gave CSUB a penalty kick at the 69:19-minute mark.

Redshirt-freshman midfielder Alexa Orrante stepped up to take the penalty and put it past NMSU’s freshman goalkeeper Rian Nials to give CSUB a 1-0 lead.

“My heart was pounding, I knew I had the team relying on me to make that goal and I did it for them,” said Orrante, whose only other goal coming in to the game was also off a penalty kick (vs. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley).

Curneen said that Orrante took the penalty kick because she stands up and wants to take the penalty kicks.

“She’s got the nerve for it and she has the ability,” he said.

The Roadrunners then added a bit of insurance as they scored at the 75:05-minute mark. This time Vicente assisted redshirt-freshman forward Aminah Settles as she beat the goalkeeper to give CSUB a 2-0 lead.

“It was an amazing ball by Haley,” said Settles, who on Wednesday won WAC Freshman Player of the Year. “Pressure is on in one-on-one situations and I kind of struggled with them in the past, so I was just trying to finish it and put it at the back of the net.”

With that goal, Settles tied the CSUB Division I single-season record for goals, and broke the single-season record for points with 23.

The Aggies cut into the lead with a goal from Devin Hart off a corner kick assist from Campbell at the 89:26 mark. However, they weren’t able to get another goal and the Roadrunners hung on and beat them to advance to the semifinals of the WAC Tournament.

Curneen said that the team was a bit nervous to start the game, but added that once the team scored the first goal, it settled down the players.

CSUB was also able avenge last year’s loss to NMSU in the first round of the WAC Tournament.

“That was part of the motivation for tonight,” Curneen said. “I think they have ended our season in one way or another by elimination game or stopping us from getting to the playoffs, so I think it was more motivation for [the players].”

In the semifinals of the WAC Tournament, CSUB will play top-seeded Seattle University tomorrow at 7 p.m.

The Roadrunners lost both games in the regular season against the Seattle Redhawks. Curneen said that they need to get the crowd involved in the game and attack Seattle’s defense to get a win this time.