CLINTON, S.C. – Only 46 seconds were needed for CSU Bakersfield’s women’s soccer team to take a lead against Presbyterian College in Friday night’s road match. The Roadrunners would go on to score three more times en route to a 4-0 victory behind freshman Darian Gambetta’s pair of goals. The shutout marks the second clean sheet in as many weeks for goalkeeper Jen Padilla and the ‘Runners.
“Scoring early tonight gave us a great platform to build on,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “There was a cutting edge to our play in the final third today, but special mentions must go to Haley Vicente and Michele Day in the midfield. They covered every blade of grass, won plenty of battles, and controlled the tempo in possession. We still have work to do, but this was a good night for the team.”
Redshirt sophomore Aminah Settles opened the scoring with her first goal of the season just 46 seconds into the match on Friday. Settles was named Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year after an outstanding 2015 campaign in which she led the ‘Runners with a CSUB Division I record-tying 11 goals.
Gambetta converted the first goal of her collegiate career in the 38th minute. The native of Las Vegas, Nev. caught the Presby keeper off her line and chipped the ball in from 30 yards out. Gambetta’s score put the ‘Runners ahead 2-0 at halftime.
The first half went all CSUB’s way as the ‘Runners enjoyed the vast majority of possession. The ‘Runners outshot the Blue Hose 18-6 in the first period with 11 of CSUB’s shots going on target. Padilla made four saves in the opening 45 minutes to keep PC off the board.
A second-half formation change put more women on the backline for PC, but the ‘Runner offense was unfazed. Vicente and Day continued to slice through the Presby midfield and Gambetta scored her second goal of the night in the 57th minute to put CSUB ahead 3-0.
Presbyterian’s best chance of the match came with 13 minutes left in the match. Padilla was caught coming out for a ball that she could not reach, but PC’s striker, Mallory Hopkins, missed the shot just wide. With less than two minutes remaining in the match, redshirt sophomore Alexa Orrante was taken down inside the box, earning a penalty kick. The native of Whittier, Calif. buried the ball past the PC keeper to lift the ‘Runners to a 4-0 advantage.
The ‘Runner defense went on to keep Presbyterian out of its own final third and helped Padilla earn her second collegiate shutout. The sophomore keeper made a total of six saves in the match, bringing her season total to 26. Settles’ first-minute goal and Gambetta’s pair of goals gave the two players four points on the season, tying for the team lead with sophomore Sabrina Delgado.
CSUB will continue its march through the Carolinas with another road match on Sunday. The ‘Runners will tackle the Camels of Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C. at 9 a.m. before starting the trek back to Bakersfield. Live stats for Sunday’s match are available on the CSUB women’s soccer schedule page.