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Women's soccer cruises to a win

Women's soccer rebounds from loss with a dominant 2-0 victory Hawaii Pacific University Sharks.  |  Caitlin Gaines/THE CHIMES

 

Biola University hosted their first of three straight home matches on Oct. 11 when the Hawaii Pacific University Sharks visited in a clash of two PacWest teams in need of a win. The Eagles looked to bounce back after a 2-0 loss at Fresno Pacific on Oct. 7. An early goal by sophomore forward Paula-Marie Labate, and a second half goal from senior forward Samantha Verduzco sealed a 2-0 victory for the Eagles.

Labate strikes first

After trading possession for the first five minutes of the match, senior midfielder Ashley Ramirez played a pass to Labate in the box. Labate’s fake shot fooled the defender and she put the ball past Sharks goalkeeper Lauren Spencer to make it 1-0 in the eighth minute. Minutes later, Labate chipped a shot that Spencer tipped onto her own crossbar before her defense cleared the ball.

Junior defender Madyson Brown came close to scoring in the 12th minute when senior defender Bri Mikalson crossed a ball that Brown headed just wide of the post. Brown almost scored again when she headed the ball wide of the post from a corner kick in the 57th minute.

Sophomore goalkeeper Christina Rodriguez did not have to make too many saves during the match, as her defense held the Sharks to 10 shots (four on goal). Her biggest save came in the 65th minute when a defensive error by Brown and senior defender Cat Newberry left Rodriguez one on one with Sharks forward Leonicia Lopez, but Rodriguez dove to keep the match 1-0.

Martin with the clincher

The Eagles’ second score came when sophomore defender Colie Martin powered up the line in the 67th minute. She crossed the ball across the ground where Verduzco made her run and placed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal to make it 2-0 in the 67th minute. This goal ended a six-match scoreless streak for Verduzco.

“It feels good, it feels like the curse has been lifted!” Verduzco said. “It’s been a while, it feels like I finally got it going. It’s not about me scoring, it’s about more the team doing well. Colie provided me with that assist.”

The Eagles continued to press for a goal but could not score again.

“It was a good response to what we challenged [the team] with, putting ourselves in a position where we need to win these next few games to give us a shot at finishing in the top of the standings,” said head coach Erin Brunelle. “It’s a bit of a pressure situation so [we] did well to get the win tonight.”

The match finished 2-0 with the Eagles outshooting the Sharks 22-10 and 10-4 in shots on goal. This match also marked the first shutout for the Eagles in seven games.

Biola improves to 7-2-1 on the season (3-2-1 in the PacWest) and moves from ninth to sixth in the conference standings. The win keeps the Eagles’ home record a perfect 5-0-0 on the season. The team continues their homestand against another Hawaii team when they take on Chaminade University on Oct. 14.

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