CSUB soccer wins over Mexico

CSUB and Mexico’s U-17 promoting “Estamos Unidos” together before the game on March 1.

Dylan Bryant, Reporter

The Cal State Bakersfield men’s soccer team earned a stunning victory over the U-17 Mexican National Team on March 1 to kick off their spring exhibition matchups. Over 2,000 fans packed into the soccer grounds at CSUB to cheer on both sides. It was an excellent night for soccer, and an excellent game.

The first half was dominated by the Mexican side, who have a lot of pace, and an excellent ability to pass the ball around. After missing a few shots on goal, the Runners defense fell apart in the 25th minute, with 17-year-old forward Roberto De La Rosa breaking through the back line to score a goal. De La Rosa would go on to earn his second goal of the night right before the whistle was blown to end the first half. When the Runners took the field for the second half, they did so with a new found thirst for the ball. In the 62nd minute, CSUB Junior Alex Segovia scored a beautiful header to shorten their opponents lead. Despite Mexico getting a few plays downfield, the Runners defense was able to prevent the Mexican side from scoring. And in the 85th minute, senior Marshall Garcia pounded one in to the back of the net to make it 2-2. The Runners would go on to win the ensuing penalty shootout 4-1.

Bakersfield resident and Mexican National team fan Lino Segura said he always tries to watch the Mexican side compete when they’re here in California. He says it feels good to come to a game where either side can win and no one will walk away angry. “Especially when it’s so close!”

The players certainly must’ve learned from this experience as well. Raul Sandoval, 17, who played for the Mexican side, said the team came to California expecting a tough competition. His side is preparing for the U-17 World Cup taking place in April, where he expects the toughest competitor to be the United States.

The Runners next match is against the Professional Mexican side Pachuca FC. That match is at CSUB on March 25. Kickoff is at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 at the gate.