Jessica Austin helps bring a new spark to Biola’s offense
Austin’s longevity leads to her success
Sophomore Jessica Austin has been playing soccer for as long as she can remember, and it shows. The women’s soccer team’s star forward, and last week’s Golden State Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, has made a habit of putting the ball in the net, and it’s led to an impressive start to her second year of collegiate soccer.
“I've been playing since I was about 6 and played with the boys at recess,” Austin said. “Scoring is my specialty and one of my main reasons for playing the game.”
Offense stands out as her priority
The reasons for her recruitment are clear. Prior to Austin’s first year with the team, former player Ashley Moseley led the squad with seven goals in the 2009 season. With her departure came the need for a goal scorer, and Austin has provided just that.
“I try to do whatever I can to get the ball into the attacking third of the field and into the back of the net,” Austin said.
After leading the team with three goals last season, Austin has scored seven times in the team’s first 13 games, not only equaling Moseley’s total from 2009, but ranking her sixth among all GSAC players.
Austin is a huge part of Biola’s success
Austin has powered the Eagles to a 8-5 start, 5-1 within the GSAC, putting them one game back of undefeated Point Loma Nazarene University and ahead of NAIA-ranked Concordia University, Azusa Pacific University and The Master’s College.
Her offensive prowess seems to have had a ripple effect on the rest of the team, as goal production has drastically increased compared to last season. The team’s 17 goals in 17 games in 2010 pales in comparison to the 25 the team has tallied through 13 games this season. And with three games remaining, the team has a chance to average almost two goals per game.
The team’s increased scoring ability has greatly benefited the squad, and their 5-1 conference record demonstrates a confidence the team can build upon.
“We have a lot of new players this year, as we did last year, but it’s different being a returning player and welcoming many new players,” Austin said. “We are slowly learning how to play with one another and it has gotten better.”
As the season winds down, the three remaining games are crucial for a squad looking to secure one of the top seeds in the GSAC playoffs.
“We have a good team, we just need to be confident and know we can make it to playoffs,” Austin said.