Moment of the Year #9
Men's Soccer Beats NCAA DI Sacramento State
There may have been no better indication of what 2010 would have in store for CBU men's soccer than a hot August day in the state's capital.
Prior to Head Coach Ryan Jorden's arrival in 2008, CBU was hardly a men's soccer power. In fact, it had rarely been in contention-for a winning season. In the 25 seasons of the program's history, the Lancers had only had three winning seasons and none since 2003. And further, in those 25 years, they had only two, yes two, wins over nationally-ranked teams.
Even in Jorden's first two years, the Lancers couldn't climb over .500, but the building blocks were being put in place, and for the first time in program history the Lancers made the postseason, and they did it twice in his first two seasons.
So when the 2009 squad finished just 5-7-4, there was reason to be optimistic in 2010. Right?
A completely revamped roster, loaded with speed and talent but only together for a little more than two weeks, trekked six-plus hours up the 99 freeway and went toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in the nation-at the NCAA Division I level.
Sacramento State, which was coming off an appearance in the NCAA Division I National Tournament the previous year and would eventually make it second straight in 2010, was ranked No. 28 in the DI preseason poll. From the start, the Hornets looked every bit the part scoring just seven minutes in to put the Lancers on their heels.
However, as time went on the Lancers began to get their footing, find a rhythm and eventually equalized in the 40th minute on a strike from Osvaldo Bastida. Sacramento-area-native Tyler Garrison assisted, and the Lancers and Hornets were tied after 45 minutes.
"Ozzie was terrific today," said Jorden at the time. "His goal was a fitting reward for his hard work."
Bastida worked hard all year, led the Lancers in points and eventually was named All-GSAC.
The second half was dominated by the Lancers, who out-shot the Hornets, 10-5, in the final 45, but seemingly couldn't find the back of the net.
Overtime was knocking on the door as the clock rolled down inside the final minute. Enter Tim Wardell.
One of four, four-year seniors, Wardell was settling into a new role as a late substitution, inserted into the lineup to inject life into the Lancer attack in the all-important final 10-15 minutes of each half. On this day, he stepped onto the field in the 78th minute. He stepped into the spotlight in the 90th.
With 33 seconds left, Wardell pounded on his own rebound and scored the game-winning goal to lift California Baptist University to a 2-1 win over nationally-ranked Sacramento State.
"We talked with Tim before the game about the role we wanted him to play," said Jorden afterwards. "He played it brilliantly, and showed great senior leadership by being willing to accept it and work within it."
Not only was it a win over a quality, nationally-ranked, Division I opponent. But it came on the road and injected confidence and a winning mentality into a program that had been lacking for so many years.
That Lancers went on to win 11 of their first 12 games to climb into the national rankings for the first time in program history. They climbed as high as No. 5 in the rankings before finishing at No. 11. The win over the Hornets was the first of four over nationally-ranked teams, and for the first time in program history the Lancers got a postseason win with a 1-0 win over Westmont in the GSAC Tournament.
Eventually, the Lancers made their first-ever national tournament appearance and finished the season an all-time best 15-5.
And gave us Moment of the Year #9.
Moments of the Year: #10 - Stieger Nets 400; Holden, Gorham Break Records
Moments of the Year: Honorable Mention