Women’s soccer still perfect in NCAA
The Eagles score late to win their fourth straight match. | Thecla Li/THE CHIMES
With the goal of entering conference play with a perfect record, Biola welcomed the Hope International University Royals to Al Barbour Field on Sept. 16. The Eagles started off well thanks to a goal from junior defender Madyson Brown. Royals goalkeeper Jacqueline Talley saved a shot from senior defender Bri Mikalson, but the ball fell to Brown who shot it into the net for an early Biola lead.
Brown comes through
Brown’s goal came in the 14th minute, and Hope International pressed for a tying goal, but Biola’s defense held strong as the Eagles attacked often in the first half.
The Royals leveled the score in the second half. Hope International’s pair of forwards, Jazzmyn Esquivel and Kelly Ruiz, quickly passed around the Biola defense for Esquivel to shoot the ball into the Eagles’ net, tying the match.
The home team pressed for a winning goal and got it in the 84th minute, when a pass from senior forward Samantha Verduzco found sophomore forward Sarah Jeffries who dribbled past the last defender and calmly put the ball into the net to give her team the late win. Verduzco won the ball off of a goal kick, and sprung a counterattack, which led to the eventual game-winning goal. The Eagles defended their lead for the last six minutes of the match for the win.
Toughest challenge thus far
The game challenged the Eagles more than any other game this season, with sophomore goalkeeper Christina Rodriguez being forced to make a season high of four saves in the match. Despite this, the home team proved the stronger side on the night as they led in shots, shots on goal and corner kicks.
The Eagles’ defense stood firm when it counted most. After the Royals scored in the 53rd minute, Biola held them without a shot until after the Eagles scored in the 84th minute.
The Eagles move to 4-0 on the year with the victory in their final nonconference match of the regular season. The team heads into PacWest play starting with a trip to Utah, where they will face Dixie State University on Sept. 23.