RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Three assists by Sophie Freeman, two goals by Jordin Bartel, and one game-winner by Aminah Settles led CSU Bakersfield’s women’s soccer team to a thrilling, double overtime victory on the road Sunday night. The Roadrunners overcame a first-half deficit to earn their first win, 3-2, over UC Riverside since the 2009 season.
“To say this is a big win for us is an understatement,” said Gary Curneen, head coach of the ‘Runners, after the match. “UC Riverside is a great team who we have always looked at as a benchmark in terms of both physicality and quality. To come here and win is a big step forward for our program and will hopefully provide us the confidence and belief to propel us to keep building.”
Curneen went on to comment on his team’s all-around effort: “We had a shaky start, but grew into the game and everyone stepped up when it mattered. Aminah, Jordin, and Sophie will get the headlines on the box score, but this was a team win in every sense of the word.”
The Highlanders struck first in the match, taking a 1-0 lead in the 15th minute on Tatum Lockett’s first goal of the season. Tayler Dragoo served a free kick into the box and Lockett buried the shot for the early advantage. Play went back and forth for the remainder of the first half with an even share of possession between the two squads.
The ‘Runners opened the second half with a burst of offense that resulted in two goals in a 50-second span. At 49:33, Freeman, a freshman and Bakersfield native, crossed the ball into the box for redshirt freshman Bartel. Bakersfield’s forward hit a one-timer over the keeper to tie the match at one goal apiece. Exactly 50 seconds later, the ‘Runners felt déjà vu as Freeman connected with Bartel again for a second goal and a 2-1 lead.
In the 57th minute, UCR earned a free kick in a dangerous position. Dragoo took a hard swing and her ball floated over the keeper’s head for the equalizer. The ‘Runners pushed for the game-winner at the end of regulation, earning multiple chances on goal, but the Highlanders held them off to send the match to overtime.
The two teams played through the first 10-minute period without a goal while the ‘Runners gained an advantage on shots. The second overtime played similarly, but CSUB finally converted the big shot it needed. Sophomore Haley Vicente played a ball to Freeman, who crossed it in to Settles. CSUB’s redshirt sophomore finished her second of the season to send the ‘Runners home as victors after 108 minutes.
With three assists in the match, Freeman tied CSUB’s all-time record for single-game assists. Bartel’s two goals gave her a total of three on the season and she is second in goals and points (7) on the season for the 'Runners. Sophomore Jen Padilla earned her fourth win of the season (4-4-1) while making four saves against the Highlanders.
CSUB’s win over UC Riverside was the team’s second in the all-time series (2-5) and first since the 2009 season. The Roadrunners improved to 4-7-1 on the season and will have a week off before kicking off Western Athletic Conference play Oct. 7 at defending WAC Tournament Champion Utah Valley.