Men’s soccer blown out in Fresno
The Eagles suffered their worst PacWest loss yet. | Caleb Raney/THE CHIMES
Coming off a huge victory against archrival Azusa Pacific University on Oct. 4, men’s soccer looked to improve upon their three-game win streak within the PacWest. However, the Eagles ran into a wall at Fresno Pacific University on Oct. 8, thrown off by the Sunbirds’ physical attack and efficient scoring en route to a 4-0 thumping for their second conference loss.
The Eagles started out strong, outshooting FPU 3-1 in the first 20 minutes. The Sunbirds also recorded four of their eight yellow cards—all from different players—in the first half. Senior goalkeeper Igor Puglia recorded two saves to help keep FPU scoreless, but the Eagles could not capitalize on their chances.A golden opportunity came late in the half when senior defender Sammy McKay attempted a header, followed by a shot from freshman midfielder Jack Cybulski three minutes later, but Sunbirds goalkeeper Patrick Timmer saved both tries.
Everything fell apart for the Eagles in the second half, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Fresno Pacific drew first blood just under 10 minutes into the half on midfielder Pak Hei Chan’s first goal of the season from the top of the box. Just four minutes after that, midfielder Sergio Bermudez chipped in his first goal of the season.
The Sunbirds controlled possession from there, continuing to create opportunities and wear out Biola’s defense before striking again in the 69th minute, this time on a goal from midfielder Anthony Verlarde. By the time Bermudez scored his second goal of the game in the 71st minute, the damage had already been done and the Eagles were well on their way to their second conference loss of the season.
The Eagles were thoroughly unprepared for FPU’s physical style, as they got bullied off the field in the second half. Fresno Pacific racked up eight yellow cards, all for different players, and recorded a whopping 20 fouls. However, they also outshot Biola 15-12 (8-3 on goal) and converted half of those shots on goal, overwhelming the usually reliable Puglia.
With the loss, the Eagles move to 4-5-1 on the seson (3-2 PacWest). They return to Al Barbour Field to start a three-game homestand against Hawaii Pacific University on Oct. 11.