Season ends in double overtime
The Eagles men’s soccer team has officially ended its season, posting an impressive record of 15-5-1, as well as advancing the furthest into the postseason since 2009.
CLAIMING THE TITLE
Following their win over Vanguard University to claim the title of Golden State Athletic Conference champions, the Eagles moved on to the first round of the NAIA playoffs in Salem, Ore. There, they met and beat the Corban University Warriors three goals to one, which sent them to the second round of the playoffs in Delray Beach, Fla. No. 3 Missouri Valley was there to meet them, proving too much for the No. 7 Eagles to handle, getting the 3-2 win in double overtime.
The first match of the NAIA championships happened on a very chilly night in Salem, but both teams played a high-energy match. Corban attacked first, getting a corner and one shot on goal within the first five minutes of play, but Biola quickly adapted to their playstyle and shut them down. It was the Eagles who first scored, with the goal coming off a header by senior midfielder Joey O’Keefe in the 35th minute.
THE SECOND HALF
The second half contained three-quarters of the total scoring, as Biola kicked things off by scoring only three minutes into the second half. Senior forward Stephen Tanquary did the honors this time, assisted by O’Keefe and freshman defender Kousei Mattox. Corban’s only goal of the match came in the 70th minute, but Biola was not finished yet, and got one more goal in the 77th minute. It was O’Keefe again who scored, marking his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Biola had a strong attack the entire game, taking 18 shots, 10 of which were on target. Corban took 14 shots of their own, but only five were on target, and senior goalkeeper JT Addington was able to stop all but one of them.
CARRYING THE MOMENTUM
The Eagles then flew to Florida to face Missouri Valley, who came in with a solid 18-2-1 record and were the heavy favorites. Biola put up an excellent fight in the high-scoring match, but eventually were worn down in the second overtime.
Biola carried all the momentum as the game began, as they not only scored the first goal, but got it within the first minute of play. A misplay from the Missouri defense allowed sophomore midfielder Jarrett Pugh to swoop in and put the ball away. Missouri responded promptly, scoring an equalizer in the fourth minute, then a go-ahead goal in the 12th.
After that, the goal scoring dropped off dramatically, and Biola was not able to tie the score until the 79th minute. Yet again, O’Keefe came up big for the Eagles, scoring his 12th goal of the season off a cross from senior midfielder John Hanscom. The score stayed tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation, so the teams headed into overtime. Missouri eventually scored the difference maker in the second overtime of the game when a shot from 30 yards out snuck past Addington. Biola lost 2-3.
This loss marks the end of the 2015 season. The year included winning the first outright conference title in franchise history, winning the GSAC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament.