Cal State Bakersfield's young men's soccer team is quickly gaining experience. But it wasn't enough to get a win in Thursday's home opener.
The Roadrunners and UC Riverside battled to a 1-1 draw on CSUB's Main Soccer Field.
CSUB junior Alex Flores scored his first collegiate goal on a header from Joe Masumiya's corner kick in the 23rd minute.
The Highlanders (4-0-2) tied in when a foul on CSUB inside the box set up Aaron Long's penalty kick in the 42nd minute.
"I think we did enough to edge the game and win it," said CSUB coach Simon Tobin after the Roadrunners ran their record to 2-3-1. "I thought they had some good periods and we had some good periods.
"(UCR coach Tim Cupello) has a good team this year. They're unbeaten. They got some votes in the rankings.
"We still have a young team and we still make young mistakes."
Flores, who's 6-foot-1, said a slightly bigger opponent was defending him on his scoring play.
"I found a way around him," said Flores, who's from Sylmar. "When I got the ball to the back of the net it was a real happy feeling. ...
"I wasn't expecting it. I'm pretty good in the air and I just got my head into it."
CSUB has eight days before its next match, at home vs. UC Irvine on Sept. 27. The Roadrunners travel to South Florida on Oct. 1 and then begin Western Athletic Conference play after that.
CSUB was coming off losses to 20th-ranked Indiana (4-1) and 16th-ranked Louisville (4-2) last weekend.
"The trip to Indiana and Louisville was a good one for us in the long term," Tobin said. "I think we'll do fine in conference. I took a young team and played some of the best teams.
"I think our offseason schedule this year is better than anyone's in the country. We had five away games and it's just nice to be back at home."
Flores said the team is still adjusting to the new players.
"We're building up again after losing a lot of good players from last year's team," Flores said. "Every game we're getting better."
CSUB had a 22-13 edge in shots. Lucas Dall'Orso had a shot from less than 10 yards out that struck the left upright. Both teams had shots that hit the crossbar.
"I think Lucas had a real, real good look," Tobin said. "You get to the top level of college you have to finish them.
"The look he got was right in front. You'd hope he'd do better than that."
CSUB goalkeeper Anthony Perez made a diving stop of a Riverside shot from 35 yards out with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime to keep it tied.