Men’s soccer tops Concordia in GSAC championship game
Eagles win in spite of poor weather
No amount of rain could stop the Biola men’s soccer team as they defeated Concordia University 3-2 to capture the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament Saturday, Nov. 12 in double overtime.
The Eagles were down 2-0 at halftime after Concordia midfielder Edgar Orozco tallied goals in the 18th and 30th minutes to put his team out front.
All season Biola has been a second half team, and they further proved that in not letting the game get away.
Ruvalcaba pulls Biola within one
In the 53rd minute senior forward Marco Ruvalcaba headed in a cross from freshman midfielder Scott Hayes to pull the Eagles within one.
The downpour in Irvine, Calif. continued to build as the game went along, seemingly fueling the Eagle attack.
“The rain didn’t seem to bother us too much. I personally like playing in the rain it, makes the game move faster,” said sophomore midfielder Kevin Kiser on the effect of the weather.
Head coach Bryan Kuderman also commented on the weather believing it gave the team more excitement.
Ruvalcaba’s second goal ties game
In the 69th minute, Ruvalcaba continued to put the team on his back, drilling home his team-leading ninth goal of the year to tie the game at two.
“Marco is a good player and a great guy,” Kuderman said. “I really love him and will miss him greatly. He has been very solid for us, but this game in particular, he was the difference.”
The score remained tied through regulation and the two teams adventured into overtime.
Sophomore forward Daniel Chew sat out the game, suspended due to receiving a red card in the first round of the GSAC tournament versus Vanguard University. Chew was forced to be completely away from the team and sit with the fans where he paced expectantly, yelling to his team in motivation.
“I was really nervous because I had no effect on the game,” Chew said. “It was the hardest game I’ve ever watched, I was scared they would get hurt or carded and I would not be there to pick up for them.”
In the entire second half and first overtime period Biola’s attack was relentless and Concordia had no answer, merely clearing out the ball but forming no strong retaliation. The Eagles outshot Concordia 4-0 in the period with none of their attempts finding the net.
“The entire second half and overtime was all us,” Kuderman said. “We had all the momentum. Concordia looked as though they just wanted to be done with it, whereas we wanted to finish it.”
Ballesteros pushes in game winner in double-overtime
As the rain continued to pour in the fifth minute of the second overtime period, the skies opened up for Biola as one of their close shot attempts was punched in by sophomore forward Carlos Ballesteros for the game winner.
Eagle senior keeper Aaron Fenlason finished the match with three saves. Biola also outshot Concordia 21-10 overall, most importantly 5-0 in overtime.
“We will play all international teams in the first two games and they are loaded with foreign talent,” Kuderman said about the upcoming NAIA tournament. “We must play physically hard without giving up fouls. Going out of state may also mean dealing with less experienced referees. This will be a very tough road trip for us.”
Biola heads to nationals
The NAIA No. 19 Eagles face No. 15 Hannibal-LaGrange University in the first round of the NAIA tournament on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 11 a.m.