It's something that everyone familiar with the Cal State Bakersfield men's soccer team already knows. But Seattle University got a first-hand reminder of it Sunday afternoon.
Gyasi Zardes, when healthy, is a scoring machine.
Back at full strength after an injury-hampered early season, Zardes continued his recent offensive tear with a pair of goals and an assist to lift the Roadrunners to a 4-3 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation victory over the visiting Redhawks on the CSUB Main Soccer Field.
Zardes tallied his sixth and seventh goals of the season late in the first half, helping CSUB (5-2-4, 2-1 MPSF) rebound from an early 1-0 deficit and take a 3-1 halftime lead.
Seattle (2-7-1, 0-2-1 MPSF) refused to go away quietly though, as Hamza Haddadi and Brady Ballew each scored second-half goals.
In the 63rd minute, Haddadi's short header cut the 'Runners advantage to 3-2.
However, exactly one minute later Kory Kindle found the back of the net with a header of his own, reestablishing CSUB's two-goal lead.
Kindle's score came off a free kick by Joe Masumiya, who had a CSUB Division I school record-tying three assists.
"We just work here as a team, one-two passing, moving off the ball," Masumiya said. "It feels good to get a win ... I'm thrilled to set a record. I'm just really happy."
With just under 18 minutes remaining in the game, Ballew took a pass from Race Sciabica and scored to once again pull Seattle within one.
But CSUB was able to hold on to the lead and claim a third-straight win over the Redhawks.
"I'm not being disrespectful to another program, but we're good enough at home that, that game should never be interesting," CSUB coach Simon Tobin said. "Every time we went two goals up we kind of gave them a glimmer of hope. Where we want to be is a great team. A team (like) Seattle that is struggling a little bit this year. They shouldn't have had any hope today. We kept giving them an in and making it hard for ourselves."
The 'Runners out-shot Seattle 20-11 while also taking twice as many corner kicks (8-4) as their MPSF rivals.
With the win, CSUB improves to 8-6 all-time against the Redhawks.
"I'm pleased that we battled so hard," Seattle University coach Pete Fewing said. "Bakersfield is a terrific team. They're very organized. They have a lot of talent. We're trying to rebuild this program and frankly I thought we were in it to the end."
Zardes' two goals Sunday upped his total to five in the 'Runners last three games.
"The difference is that I'm back to 100-percent healthy," Zardes said. "I had a leg strain early in the season, which was hard. But I feel like I'm slowly getting back to 100-percent so it feels good."
The junior forward had 18 goals in 2011 as now has 30 during his CSUB career.
Down 1-0 after Seattle scored on a penalty kick just 68 seconds into the game, Zardes helped CSUB draw even by assisting on Jesus Sanchez's third goal of the season.
Sanchez later repaid the favor feeding the ball to Zardes, who out-raced a defender before blasting a laser-like shot from 20 yards away into the lower left corner of the net.
"I spun the defender and then I used my speed to really get past the defenders," Zardes said. "Once I had open range I just shot the ball. I just kept in mind that my coaches (were) telling me to shoot from range so I really shot the ball from far."
That goal came seven minutes after Zardes gave CSUB a 2-1 lead, when he took advantage of a Seattle mistake in its own end. Seeing a Seattle defender misplay the ball, Zardes used his speed to gain possession and then after a couple of quick strides hit a perfectly-struck high popup over Seattle goal keeper Jake Feener's head.
Feener finished with seven saves. CSUB keeper Eric Shannon had four saves.