The Matadors beat Cal State Bakersfield 3-2 in a non-conference game at Matador Soccer Field on Friday.
After taking a 2-0 lead, head coach Keith West pulled several of his starters to give them some rest for Sunday’s conference game against UC Irvine. It didn’t look like a very good decision, though, when Bakersfield scored two quick goals to tie the score. But, with the clock dwindling down, West put his starters back in and freshman forward Salma Tarik put the game winner in the back of the net with less than five minutes left in the game.
Tarik said she was “pretty happy” about her goal and that she wasn’t worried when the Roadrunners tied the game.
“When we went back out on the field it was like, anyone just score a goal,” Tarik said. “I knew we would pull it off.”
Senior midfielder Kristy Krohn climbed up another spot on the all-time assist list after helping on Tarik’s goal. Krohn is now tied for sixth on that list. Junior defender Nalena Betancourt also assisted on the goal, her second assist of the season.
The Matadors got on the scoreboard early when senior midfielder Susie Miscenkho put one in the net in the fifth minute. Mischenko received a pass from freshman midfielder Kimberly Culver and popped it over the goalie’s head. The goal was Mischenko’s fifth of the season and moves her up to fifth place on the all-time goals list.
“It’s nice to get a victory heading into our last few conference games,” Mischenko said. “We feel good. The main key is to keep winning.”
With just seconds left in the first half, junior midfielder Tryna Tafoya sent a 40-yard missile over the goalkeeper’s head and into the back of the net to put CSUN up 2-0. Tafoya said she felt good about her first goal of the season.
“I heard the clock ticking down and decided to get the ball as far out of our side as possible and I got it pretty far,” Tafoya said. “It was a nice goal to score.”
The Roadrunners didn’t give up, however, and made their way back into the game in the second half when freshman midfielder Faith Perry used her head to score two goals in less than two minutes. The first header was on a cross from freshman defender Natalie Haigh and the second was on a cross from junior defender Moriah Neville.
West didn’t seem too concerned, waiting another 15 minutes before putting his starters back into the game. Tafoya said she wasn’t worried about it either.
“I had no doubts we were going to pull it out,” Tafoya said.
Tarik’s goal is her third this season, giving her eight points on the year. Mischenko leads the offense with 10 points.
Freshman Ivette Esqueda played the entire 90 minutes in goal for the Matadors and made five saves.
As a team, CSUN shot 13 times, with six of those shots on goal. Bakersfield also shot 13 times, but had seven shots on goal.
West remains optimistic about his team’s chances to make the playoffs, explaining that he believes four wins for the season is enough to make it to the postseason.
“If we win the next three, we have a shot,” West said.
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