BAKERSFIELD, Calif.--CSU Bakersfield hits the road for a pair of men’s soccer matches this week. The Roadrunners (2-1-3) travel to SMU (4-2-1) Thursday night in Dallas (7 p.m. CDT) before traveling to No. 19 UC Riverside (7-0) Sunday night at 7 p.m.

This is the first meeting between CSUB and SMU in men’s soccer. The Mustangs won the program’s own SMU Classic last weekend. The Mustangs defeated UC Davis 1-0 in the final match of the tournament (CSUB and Davis tied 0-0 earlier this season). Tyler Engel leads the team in points (7) and assists (3). He is tied for the team lead with Leobardo Vazquez as the duo have both scored two goals.

UC Riverside is ranked 19th in the NSCAA/Continental Top 25, 23rd in the Soccer Times Top 25, 24th in the College Soccer News Top 30, and 25th in the Soccer America Top 25.  The Roadrunners took a 4-1-2 all-time series lead when CSUB defeated UCR 5-1 last season in Bakersfield.

The Highlanders, who are the only team to remain undefeated West of the Mississippi River, have had 26 players see the field with only two starting every game. Aaron Long leads the team in scoring with four goals and nine points. Ivan Garcia has scored three goals and posted two assists for eight points. Otis Earle has dished out a team leading four assists. 

Gyasi Zardes (R-Jr., Hawthorne, Calif., Leuzinger HS) and Jesus Sanchez (Sr., Chula Vista, Calif., Castle Park HS) both recorded three points as CSU Bakersfield (2-1-3) defeated Sacramento State 4-0 Sept. 14. Zardes, who sat out the past two matches with a leg strain, broke the seal for CSUB in the 20th minute. The 6-1 forward beat three defenders, switched from his right foot and scored with his left from eight yards out. Zardes set up Kory Kindle (Sr., Ventura, Calif., Ventura HS) a little over seven minutes later as Kindle made it 2-0 with blast that found the bottom right corner of the net.

Sanchez scored his first goal of the year in the 34th minute off a long Joe Masumiya (R-So., Lakewood, Calif., Lakewood HS) pass from eight yards out. Sanchez earned the assist on the final goal of the night when David Velasquez (R-So., Los Angeles, Calif., Locke HS) tallied his second goal of the season at 56:29. Eric Shannon (Sr., Valencia, Calif., Valencia HS) earned his 25th career shutout as he made five saves. CSUB outshot the Hornets 23-7, 13-5 on goal.

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