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By Stephen Lynch
BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian
Coming off a pair of losses, the last thing the Cal State Bakersfield women's soccer team wanted to do was fall behind early in its game Sunday against Sacramento State.
But despite the 'Runners' best intentions, the Hornets seized control early and rolled to a 3-1 non-conference victory at the CSUB Main Soccer Field.
Alyssa Anderson had two goals and Gabriella Trenton added a pair of assists for Sacramento State, which jumped ahead 1-0 in the 19th minute on Kassidy Kellogg's goal and eventually built a 3-0 advantage.
Emily Noethe scored CSUB's lone goal, her first of the season, in the 77th minute.
"I think we started the game quite well," CSUB coach Melissa Phillips said. "But after we gave up a goal, to me it just looked like we got the wind sucked out of our sails and didn't respond,"
The Roadrunenrs (1-3) outshot the Hornets 11-10, but had one fewer (8-7) shot on goal.
Sacramento State (1-2) came into the match having taken just 12 total shots and six shots on goal in its first two games of the season, both shutout losses.
Despite being down 1-0 at halftime, the 'Runners forced the Hornets goal keeper Kimberly Mata to make two first-half saves.
However, the 'Runners best two opportunities to score before intermission didn't require Mata to touch the ball.
With just under nine minutes left until halftime, Caroline Muoio fired a hard shot from straight on that hit the crossbar and bounced out to a Sacramento State defender.
Five minutes later, the Hornets were whistled for dangerous play inside their own box. That gave Erica Shelton an indirect free kick from in close that she chipped slightly over the net.
"We still have a lot of areas that we have to improve in, but I thought the effort level from the first whistle to the last was really good," Sacramento State coach Randy Dedini said. "Now I think we need to come out a little bit quicker. We were a little bit technically unclean in the first 20 minutes and we were giving unforced turnovers away, which nearly cost us in the first half."
The early part of the second half was dominated by Sacramento State, as Anderson twice found the back of the net after being served long passes.
In the 54th minute she made it 2-0 on a short-range goal assisted by Trenton.
Then 18 minutes later, Anderson extended the Hornets lead to 3-0 with a hard shot that glanced off a CSUB defender before finding the back of the net.
The 5-foot-2 sophomore forward was playing in just her second game after suffering a bad wrist injury,
"I'm just very happy with my team and how we performed today," Anderson said. "We really stepped up as a team together. And we just learned how to settle down. Today we were looking for the win, and thankfully, we got it so I'm very proud of my team."
Before the Hornets were able to claim the victory they had to withstand a late charge by the 'Runners.
Noethe made things a bit more interesting with her goal, which was assisted by Taylor Wheeler.
"I just saw left-back Taylor Wheeler, she played the diagonal ball in and I just did a touch around the goalie and it was in," Noethe said in describing her goal.
According to Noethe the 'Runners biggest problem against Sacramento State was their inability to get a rhythm going.
"Once we get a goal in, we usually get our momentum going," the junior forward said.
The loss is the third straight for CSUB after opening the season with a 4-1 victory over Southern Utah.
"We've seen a good defensive performance and we've also seen a good attacking performance, but we've not put the two together," Phillips said. And this whole weekend's play was not to the potential that our team can play."