Women’s soccer battles for draw
Women's soccer holds conference-leading Lancers in 1-1 tie. | Caitlin Gaines/THE CHIMES
On a day where the temperature surpassed 105 degrees, the Eagles hosted the PacWest-leading California Baptist University Lancers. Biola entered the match fifth in the conference and needs to finish fifth or better to qualify for the postseason. After allowing a goal in the 24th minute, the Eagles gradually created more and more offense until senior forward Samantha Verduzco forced the ball into the net to tie. The match would finish 1-1 after overtime.
LANCERS STRIKE FIRST
The Lancers started the match much stronger than their hosts, holding the ball in the Eagles’ half of the field for the majority of the first 30 minutes. The Eagles defense held back Lancer attacks until forward Brooke Ligtenberg’s shot deflected off of a defender and over sophomore goalkeeper Christina Rodriguez into the goal, giving the visitors the 1-0 lead.
The opposition goal seemed to spark some life into the Eagles as they began to press for an equalizing goal. Freshman forward Madi deMetropolis created a shot by poking the ball towards the goal, but CBU goalkeeper Sara Escobedo made the save.
The Eagles’ chances of coming back nearly vanished in the 56th minute when a shot from Lancers forward Jordan Dow hit the crossbar and went out for a goal kick. But the Eagles caught a break as the near miss kept them in the match.
Biola continued to press for a tying goal as sophomore forward Paula-Marie Labate dribbled past two defenders and launched a shot, but it went straight into Escobedo’s hands. All of the Eagle attacks left their defense and goalkeeper vulnerable to counterattacks, but Rodriguez made multiple key saves to keep the match 1-0.
VERDUZCO TIES IT UP
The Eagles finally broke past Escobedo in the 84th minute, when sophomore forward Annmarie Alvarez fired two shots in a row. Verduzco pounced on the rebound to force the ball past the Lancers goalkeeper and score her team-best fifth goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1.
“We dug in in the last 10 minutes," said head Coach Erin Brunelle. "[We threw] everything and the kitchen sink at [Cal Baptist]. It resulted in a goal, and [we tried] to keep that fire and intensity for the rest of the match.”
The match went to overtime, where both teams created plenty of shots, but the best chance came in the final minute of play. Lancer’s midfielder Desarae Felix dribbled past the Eagles’ defense, but her shot barely missed the net, rolling wide of the post.
“I do [think this is a fair result],” Brunelle said. “As much as we struggled at the beginning of the match, for us to go the full 110 [minutes], I’ll take that.”
The Eagles move to 9-3-2 on the season (5-3-2 in PacWest), and hold fifth place in the conference. They look to improve their postseason hopes on senior night at Al Barbour Field against Point Loma Nazarene University on Oct. 28.