Aggie Soccer's Season Ends With 2-1 Loss To Bakersfield In WAC Tournament

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - A late goal by Sabrina Ruiz with 34 seconds remaining in regulation on a set piece from Morgan Campbell was too little too late as the 2015 season came to an end for NM State in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals, a 2-1 loss to CSU Bakersfield on Thursday night at the Main Soccer Field.

“I’m proud of our team, not only for tonight but for the whole season,” Delgado said.

Ruiz’s goal was her fifth of the season, tying Aileen Galicia for the team lead in goals. Ruiz, however, leads the team in points with 13 (5g, 3a), one point ahead of Galicia.

“We absorbed a lot of pressure in the first half,” Delgado said. “It’s always difficult when you play the host team. Bakersfield came out with a ton of energy and emotion.”

NM State wrapped up the year 5-15-0 overall and 4-6-0 in conference play.

The Aggie defense was tested early in the first half, but Rian Nials and Campbell were able to rally the backline and hold the match scoreless until the first-half buzzer sounded.

NM State looked a lot better in the final 15 minutes of the first half, cutting the shot differential to 7-5. The Aggies had some opportunities down the stretch, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Nials made a couple great plays for the Aggies in the first half to keep things knotted at zero, including some point-blank shots headed her way. The freshman finished the game with eight saves.

NM State and Bakersfield (6-11-3) opened the second half with fire in the bellies as both goalies fought off shot after shot in the first 15 minutes of action.

Things didn’t get interesting until the 69th minute when Bakersfield’s Aminah Settles dribbled her way down the field on the CSUB counter attack. As the ball made its way into the box, the Aggies were called for a handball which set up the ensuing penalty kick that put the ‘Runners on top, 1-0, with 69:19 on the clock.

When asked about the offensive opportunities in the second half, Delgado said the Aggies created chances throughot the game. “We had two shots hit the crossbar. If we score on either of those shots, we win the game. But, soccer can be a cruel game at times.”

That moment first came just three minutes into the second half, when Ruiz blasted a shot about eight meters out but saw it fly off the top crossbar. It happened again, two minutes after CSUB’s second goal of the match in the 77th minute.

Despite being down 2-0 with 15 minutes left to play, the Aggies never let up and battled the Roadrunners until the horn sounded the end of regulation.

“Our kids battled until the end, just like they have done all season,” Delgado said after the match. “I’m proud of the way our seniors and upperclassmen have lead our team, and I’m proud of the freshmen for their growth as people and soccer players. This loss stings right now, but I know we definitely made steps forward and the future is very bright for Aggie soccer!”

Match Notes: Nials’ eight saves pushed her season total to 68, good for fourth on the all-time single-season saves record and sixth on the career saves list … her 2.34 goals against average for the year is also good for ninth on the single-season GAA record and fifth on the all-time career list … Ruiz’s fifth goal of the year ties her sixth on the single-season goals list … her 13 points (5g, 3a) is also good for sixth on the single-season points record … The 2-1 victory for Bakersfield was its first postseason win ever in the program’s 20-year history.