The Cal State Bakersfield women's soccer team demonstrated its quick-strike offensive capabilities with two early second-half goals against Cal Poly on Sunday night.
But too many breakdowns on the defensive end was ultimately the 'Runners' undoing as they lost 5-2 to the Mustangs on the CSUB Main Soccer Field.
Elise Krieghoff scored a career-high four goals, including the last three of the game, to carry Cal Poly (2-0) to the non-conference victory.
After allowing two goals within 40 seconds of each other early in the first half, CSUB (1-1) rallied to even the match soon after halftime on goals by Taylor Jordan and Hedda Regefalk.
However, just three minutes and 21 seconds later, Krieghoff put Cal Poly back in front to stay with a short header off a cross from Lydia Anderson.
"They did an excellent job battling back from two goals down," CSUB coach Melissa Phillips said. "And after we tied it we have to find a way to settle into a rhythm. Manage the game."
Krieghoff, who scored the Mustangs first goal of the game, capped off her big night with goals in the 80th and 83rd minute.
"I'm just really proud of my team for coming back and helping me out," Krieghoff said." Obviously I didn't do that by myself. Scoring four goals doesn't come from an individual. It comes from a team working and transitioning from the defense back up to me. It was a good game."
Cal Poly finished with 22 shots, nine of them on goal. CSUB took 13 shots including eight that were on goal.
Erica Shelton, coming off a hat trick in the 'Runners season-opening 4-1 victory over Southern Utah on Friday, assisted on Jordan's goal.
Shelton sent in a long free kick down the left sideline that Jordan quickly corralled. Then after driving the ball toward the corner, Jordan made a quick move back toward the middle and then angled a hard shot into the back corner of the net.
Regefalk tied things up one minute and 27 seconds later with a perfectly-placed low blast inside the near post after taking a long pass from Taylor French.
From there the momentum quickly shifted back to Cal Poly.
"We were just really complacent coming into the second half, thinking that we really have this" Krieghoff said. "I think them scoring on us, like helped us. It got us back in the game. Motivated us to start working harder again."
Phillips liked her team's overall effort but acknowledged its defensive shortcomings against Cal Poly.
"A couple different areas about just playing on the same page," Phillips said when asked about the source of the defensive problems. "Stepping when we should have been dropping. Not stepping when we need to be stepping. Just a little bit in communication. Getting numbers in behind the ball. Slowing down the game and keeping our lines a little bit tighter."
Despite trailing by two goals at halftime, CSUB matched Cal Poly with three shots on goal during the first 45 minutes.
The 'Runners had numerous scoring chances in the first half.
Megan Todd, Erica Shelton, and Alex Bachman all fired shots that required saves by Mustangs' goal keeper Alyssa Giannetti.
But arguably CSUB's best chance at netting a goal of the opening half came in the 39th minute when Regefalk broke free with the ball and missed a one-on-one opportunity against the Cal Poly keeper, wide left.
Giannetti finished with six saves. CSUB goal keeper Tori Ornela had three saves.
The CSUB women's soccer team returns to action on Friday at 7 pm.m. when it hosts Northern Arizona.