BY JOELLE MILHOLM Special to The Californian
The women's soccer teams at Cal State Bakersfield and Eastern Washington have a lot in common.
Both are trying to rebound from tough 2013 seasons: the Roadrunners were 4-14-1 and the Eagles 3-15.
Both lost their openers this season, identical 2-1 overtime setbacks Friday night, CSUB against Gonzaga and Eastern Washington against Fresno State.
Both also entered Sunday's non-conference showdown at CSUB with first-year coaches, Gary Curneen for the 'Runners and Chad Bodnar for the Eagles looking to post their first wins with their new programs.
But it was Eastern Washington that set itself apart on the field on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over CSUB.
The Eagles (1-1) outshot the 'Runners 14-4, bringing CSUB's season total of being outshot by opponents to 44-8 on the season.
Curneen said that defense is definitely an issue for his team, but added that the problems stretch across the entire field.
"It is a team problem," he said. "If you want to pick a weak area, we could be here all night."
After a scoreless first half, Eastern Washington took a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute when Haley Stading and Cassie Black were able to draw CSUB sophomore goalkeeper Megan Vina out of the goal.
Despite Vina, who finished with five saves, making what initially looked to be a stop, Black's shot slowly rolled into the goal. The Eagles scored again in the 60th minute when Black found Savannah Hoekstra in front of the goal. At point-blank range, Hoekstra fired a roller to the left, while Vina made a dive right. Paige Gallaway ripped a shot into the back of the net at the 77:50 mark for the 3-0 lead.
"In the game at Fresno State we had a chance to win and kinda let slip away in overtime and I thought the second half here today was sharp," Bodnar said. "We switched our shape a little bit in the second half just to give us some wide play and I think it helped. The players played harder and had some good stuff in front of goal in the second half."
Of CSUB's four shots on goal, the best scoring opportunity came in the first half when sophomore Hedda Regefalk's header in the 41st minute bounced off the crossbar and behind Eastern Washington keeper Nathalie Schwery, who was able to grab the ball before it crossed the goal line.
Curneen said he knows it will take time to build his program, but he added that he thought the 'Runners played better on Friday night than on Sunday.
"Friday night was phenomenal and today was very, very poor," he said. "In order for us to be successful as a program, consistency is the first thing. Unfortunately, that was pretty bad. I feel like we are making progress, but that wasn't a step forward."
On Friday, CSUB will visit Sacramento State in a non-conference match.