Women’s soccer holds off Point Loma
Women's soccer wins 1-0 contest to stay in the hunt for the postseason. | Thecla Li/THE CHIMES
Women’s soccer’s senior night featured a high-stakes PacWest matchup against the Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions. After 90 tightly contested minutes, the Eagles secured a 1-0 win thanks to a goal from sophomore forward Sarah Jeffries, moving them into a qualifying position for postseason.
Survival of the fittest
“We survived another great team,” said head coach Erin Brunelle. “They were very organized, very difficult to break down. It was a really back and forth game, with waves of one team dominating play for a bit, and then the other team having the run of play.”
After surviving an early barrage of shots by the Sea Lions, the Eagles converted their first chance of the match. In the ninth minute, senior forward Samantha Verduzco outmuscled a defender to win the ball in the Point Loma box. Verduzco crossed the ball to the feet of Jeffries who fired the ball past the Sea Lions goalkeeper Brianna Linnell to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The second half brought much of the same with the ball changing possession in the midfield for the majority of the half. The Eagles almost capitalized on a mistake by Linnell when the goalkeeper misplayed a cross and the ball fell to senior forward Margaret Guadarrama. She dribbled around two Point Loma defenders, but her shot flew just too high as it hit the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
Defense holds strong
The last ten minutes of the match saw the Sea Lions press for a tying goal. Biola’s defense held strong until they gave up a dangerous free kick with a minute left in the match. Point Loma midfielder Abbi Swanson stepped up to take the set piece, but her powerful strike hit the underside of the crossbar and, luckily for the Eagles, went high above the goal on the follow-up opportunity. Biola ran out the rest of the clock and continued their push for postseason soccer.
“[We did well] to defend and close out the game and manage the pressure [Point Loma] was putting on us,” Brunelle said.
The Eagles move to 10-3-2 on the season (6-3-2 in the PacWest), and finished their home season an undefeated 8-0-1. They also hold on to fifth place in conference and will hope for some help from other teams to help them qualify for the National Christian College Athletic Association postseason. In their quest for playoff soccer, Biola will travel to San Francisco, Calif. where the Eagles will face Academy of Arts University looking for their first PacWest road win on Nov. 2.