BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A pair of early goals for Eastern Washington proved to be an insurmountable lead to overcome for CSU Bakersfield’s women’s soccer team at the Main Soccer Field on Friday night. The Roadrunners regained momentum and scored an early second-half goal, but the Eagles held on for a 3-1 victory.
“I thought we showed tremendous character and a fair bit of quality as well,” said Gary Curneen, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “We stepped it up after [the two goals] and we played well. I have no problem with the response. There was a major problem with the start. At this level, you can’t start poorly or spot teams goals. We have done that two games in a row and we have paid the price for it.”
Early mental lapses by the ‘Runners put CSUB in a two-goal deficit in the first five minutes of the game. Chloe Williams struck on a through ball played in from Aimie Inthoulay in the second minute to give EWU its first goal. At 5:03, a corner kick from Inthoulay found Savannah Hoekstra, who flicked the ball in for the Eagles’ second goal.
After the first five minutes of the match, the ‘Runners began to take control of possession with precision passing. CSUB kept the ball in the EWU half for much of the remaining 40 minutes in the period, but was unable to finish on opportunities in the box.
With momentum coming out of the locker room, the 'Runners needed only two and a half minutes to convert its first goal of the match. Freshman Darian Gambetta, fresh off of a two-goal performance last weekend, crossed the ball into the box and found sophomore Sabrina Delgado. Bakersfield’s midfielder collected the ball at the top of the box and buried it in the back of the net to make the score 2-1.
“We worked our way back in,” Curneen said. “At 2-1, I fancied us. I really thought we had a chance, but then we gave up a soft one for three. You just can’t spot teams like Eastern Washington a goal. They are too good to be given goals.”
The Eagles quickly responded with their third goal to extended the lead. At 48:17, Williams broke away from her defender and beat the diving keeper for her second goal of the match. The rest of the game was played very open with both teams pressuring on opposite ends. Neither team was able to gain an edge in the physical battle as EWU held on to its lead for the 3-1 win.
Freshman Jordan Bertram earned her first start in goal for the ‘Runners on Friday night. The native of Gig Habor, Wash. played well in her first collegiate match, making seven saves on the evening. Delgado, who hails from Hacienda Heights, Calif., netted her third goal of the season. The sophomore now leads CSUB in goals and points on the season.
The ‘Runners (2-4-1) will hit the road to close the weekend with a match against Cal Poly on Sunday. Kickoff in San Luis Obispo, Calif. is set for noon and the game will be streamed live via BigWest.TV.