BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Roadrunner women’s soccer team battled to a scoreless draw against UTEP at the Main Soccer Field on Friday night. CSU Bakersfield’s back line along with clutch saves from Jen Padilla led the ‘Runners to their first shutout of the season and the first of Padilla’s collegiate career.
“Tonight was a fantastic performance from the team again,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “UTEP presented us with a number of challenges, most notably from set pieces, but we stayed strong for 110 minutes.”
Curneen went on to applaud his team’s grit and effort: “When you have players throwing themselves into challenges and covering each other, you have a good chance of getting a result. Our team proved that tonight. Offensively, we had a few chances and, on another day, could have taken the win.”
The Roadrunners did indeed create multiple chances, outshooting the Miners 15-13 while forcing UTEP keeper Alyssa Palacios to make seven saves in the match. Sophomore midfielders Haley Vicente and Alexa Orrante created most of the best looks for CSUB with a pair of on-target shots each.
CSUB looked to be in trouble with just seconds remaining in the second half as UTEP’s Bri Thomas charged to the ‘Runner goal. A hard shot from five yards out went whizzing toward Padilla, but CSUB’s sophomore made one of her five saves to keep the game scoreless and send the match to overtime. With ten seconds remaining in the first overtime period, the ‘Runners had a buzzer-beating shot of their own, but sophomore Sabrina Delgado’s attempt went just over the bar.
In the final 10-minute overtime period, UTEP outshot CSUB 3-0. One attempt went wide, the next was saved by Padilla, and the final shot was cleared off the line by a ‘Runner defender to preserve the draw. Padilla, making just her third start for CSUB, earned her first collegiate shutout on Friday night.
CSUB (1-1-1) will hit the road to close out the weekend with a match against Loyola Marymount on Sunday. The Lions were ranked in the Top 25 at the start of the season after making an NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen run a year ago and will present a tough hurdle for the ‘Runners to clear. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. and the match can be watched live via CampusInsiders.com.