Women’s soccer and cross-country finish with successful seasons

The cross-country and women’s soccer teams finished their seasons with a number of successes.

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

These past few weeks saw several Eagles sports teams finish their seasons with impressive achievements.

Cross-country was represented by a full women’s team in Vancouver, Wash. on Nov. 17 for the NAIA Championships. The Eagles have a history of finishing well at nationals in recent years, placing at least 12th in each of the last six years. 2012 did not disappoint. The ladies finished 10th out of the 32 teams represented.

Leading the charge for the Eagles was freshman Kellian Hunt, who took 15th with a time of 18:20. Fellow underclassmen Neysa Mains and Ilima Kung came in at 18:57 and 19:30, respectively, good enough to earn them 55th and 98th overall.

Nationals capped off strong cross-country season

A solid placing at nationals is the exclamation point on a well-run season by the women, which includes three team first-place finishes in five meets. The Golden State Athletic Conference Champions proved that victories do not always depend on experience, having numerous freshmen step up and prove valuable to the team throughout the season.

Hunt, who led Biola throughout the season, placed within the top 15 in every meet, with several second-place finishes. Both Mains and Kung made huge improvement strides, starting the season in the middle of the pack and working their way up to numbers two and three.

Women’s soccer falls in first GSAC finals appearance

Women’s soccer also rounded out their season on Nov. 16, with an afternoon game in Costa Mesa against Vanguard University. The GSAC Championship matchup, which saw them take on the No. 4-ranked Lions, was the Eagles first ever appearance in the championship game for women’s soccer. Although exciting and well played, the match proved to be a challenge for the Eagles as the women ultimately were defeated 2-1.

The Lions got on the board early in the 9th minute when midfielder Lindsey Holman-Kelley slotted a ball behind the Eagle defense and found GSAC-leading goal scorer Jordan Davidson who blasted it past the keeper for her 16th goal of the year. After Vanguard forward Kayla Arenas scored in the 65th minute to put Vanguard up 2-0, things began to look bleak for the Eagles. Several minutes later, junior forward Jessica Austin cracked a shot from 18 yards out. The Lions’ goalkeeper came out for the save, but the ball bounced free to Stephanie Cubias. The senior midfielder gathered the ball and laced a shot into the upper right corner to bring Biola back 2-1.

The 12-7-1 finish by women’s soccer marks the most successful season in recent history, having never finished a season with 12 wins before. Since the institution of the GSAC tournament in 2008, the Eagles have never made it to the finals. The 2012 campaign is the second year in a row the women have finished in the top three of GSAC standings.

Moving forward, the Eagles will look to recover from losing six seniors, all of whom have played vital roles on the team. The six combine for 14 goals and 10 assists this season.

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