MORAGA, Calif. – The Roadrunner women’s soccer team battled through two tight halves into extra time, but CSU Bakersfield fell to Saint Mary’s in overtime of an exhibition Wednesday night. Ten newcomers to the 'Runners saw playing time as CSUB's young squad gained valuable experience before the start of the 2016 season.
“Today was a big step for our program in terms of what direction we are looking to go,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “Twenty two players played big minutes including ten new players, and every one of them produced an effort and intensity that symbolized exactly what we are about.”
The first half saw the ‘Runners enjoying the lion’s share of possession. CSUB outshot SMC seven to three in the period with four attempts on target for the ‘Runners. The Gaels turned the tables in the second half, taking 14 shots and dominating possession. Only two of SMC's shots were on frame as CSUB's defense held strong and the teams remained scoreless through 90 minutes.
Five minutes into the overtime period, the Gaels’ Samantha Dion played a through ball into teammate Hannah Diaz. The SMC forward lobbed the ball over CSUB’s charging keeper, Jen Padilla, for the game-winning goal.
Padilla had a solid performance on the day, saving both of the previous shots Saint Mary’s put on goal. The ‘Runner defense was able to keep SMC out of their own box for much of the game and the Gaels' keeper, Julia McDonald, was forced to make seven saves on the night.
“Physically, we definitely passed the test," said Curneen. "There are some areas we need to improve before next week. Overall, it’s not hard to find plenty of positives and we’re already looking forward to testing ourselves when the season kicks off next week.”
CSUB will hit the road Aug. 19 for its season-opener against Sacramento State. The ‘Runners will take on the Hornets in Northern California with kickoff set for 4 p.m. CSUB will return to Bakersfield Aug. 21 for its home opener against Fresno State. Season tickets are on sale and more information can be found at GoRunners.com/tix.