Biola crowned GSAC Tournament champions
The men’s soccer team won the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament for the first time since 2011 after beating Vanguard University by a score of 1-0. Junior forward Leonardo Contreras scored the only goal of the game with less than three minutes left in the second.
The teams played a very tight first half, with each team shooting the ball seven times and each goalkeeper making two saves. After the first half the score was 0-0.
Biola started to gain momentum in the second half, outshooting the Lions 9-4 and forcing Vanguard’s goalkeeper to make four saves. The Eagles were also able to draw 14 fouls in the second half, leading to an increased amount of scoring opportunities.
With two minutes and 50 seconds left in regulation, senior midfielder and GSAC Player of the Year Joey O’Keefe fed GSAC Newcomer of the Year Contreras with a through ball. Contreras slid to beat the outstretched arms of Vanguard’s goalkeeper and redirected the ball to the left corner of the goal. This goal gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
“To be honest I felt like the keeper was going to get it,” Contreras said. “For some reason [I thought] ‘I’m just going to go in there and try to pressure that ball’ and I [slid] and it went in there.”
Vanguard took advantage of every second left on the clock, pressuring the Eagles’ defense and forcing the home fans to hold their breath. With only seconds left on the clock, the Lions headed a ball towards the goal and senior goalkeeper J.T. Addington made a diving punch save. Vanguard collected the rebound but kicked wide, running all of the remaining time off the clock. Biola won 1-0.
It has not been decided when the next game for the Eagles. Stay tuned for additional information as it arrives.