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Guardarrama, deMetropolis lead women’s soccer comeback

Women’s soccer returned to Al Barbour Field to host the Dominican University Penguins in a PacWest clash on Sept. 30. The Eagles fought a determined foe but came away with a 3-2 victory thanks to two quick second half goals.

Poor start

The match started as poorly as it could have for the Eagles as a Penguins’ pass across the front of the goal deflected off of an Eagles defender into the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Biola struggled with possession in the first 10 minutes until the 9th minute when senior midfielder Ashley Ramirez placed a perfect pass behind the Dominican defense for sophomore forward Paula-Marie Labate, who smashed the ball past Penguins goalkeeper Alyssa Ramos to tie the match.

The hosts stepped up their play and pressed for a tiebreaking goal, but they could not finish their opportunities. The Penguins capitalized on a Biola turnover in the 41st minute when forward Ivy Torres launched a long shot towards the net. The ball slipped through the hands of sophomore goalkeeper Christina Rodriguez and into the Eagles’ goal, giving Dominican a 2-1 lead just before halftime.

“We knew, headed into the second half, that we didn’t need to be desperate,” said head coach Erin Brunelle. “[We knew] we needed to continue to build opportunities to score, and we knew that we were capable of it and [took it] one goal at a time.”

Coming out of the half, Biola put pressure on the Penguins, utilizing their speed on the wings to attack the defense. The pressure exposed the Eagles defense and goalkeeper to the Dominican attack who created a few opportunities that forced saves from Rodriguez.

The Eagles received a golden chance in the 63rd minute when a Penguins defender was called for a handball in the box, giving Biola a penalty kick. Labate stepped up after scoring a penalty in the previous match, but her shot flew over the crossbar, missing the net completely.

deMetropolis creates scoring chances

The hosts pressured relentlessly still and finally broke through in same minute as the penalty kick. Freshman forward Madi deMetropolis’ bouncing pass found senior forward Margaret Guadarrama who shrugged off a defender and volleyed a rocket shot into the top left corner to tie the game at 2-2.

“It always feels good to score a goal, but to score a goal like that is exhilarating,” Guadarrama said.

Biola did not let up, as senior forward Samantha Verduzco crossed the ball into the penalty box to deMetropolis who arced a headed over Ramos to give the Eagles their first lead of the match at 3-2, minutes after tying the match.

With only 25 minutes remaining, the Eagles created a few chances to seal the game but could not beat Ramos. The team held off any Penguins attack for the remainder of the game to earn a 3-2 victory.

With the win, the Eagles improve to 6-1 on the season (2-1 in the PacWest). Next up on Biola’s schedule: a trip to Azusa Pacific in a Cornerstone Cup matchup on Oct. 4 at 5 p.m.

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