New beginnings in soccer

Former assistant coach Erin Brunelle named head coach of the women’s soccer team.


Sophomore midfielder Jessie Burns races past two players from Concordia University last season. | Jenny Oetzell/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Laurie Bullock, Writer

For the past two years Todd Elkins juggled the position of head coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer programs. Elkins will hand over his role as the women’s head coach after seven years to his former assistant coach of six years, Erin Brunelle.

Brunelle played for Colorado Christian University for four years before being hired on as an assistant coach for Elkins. During those six years, the women’s team has seen five Golden State Athletic Conference tournaments and has a record of 56-40-12 in her time at Biola.


Elkins inherited the role of head coach from Mike Selzer in 2008. Since then, Elkins has completely turned the program around and upheld a possession-oriented style of play that served the women’s team well, going from a 5-7-3 record to 12-7-1 in 2012.

There might have been doubts about whether or not Elkins could handle being the head coach for both teams, but Elkins quickly silenced the naysayers by continuing the program that Bryan Kuderman had established and brought the men back to the GSAC Championship tournament. The team lost to Concordia University 3-2 in the final match to end the season 14-4-1.

Elkins did not just succeed in his role of coaching the men’s team during his first year of coaching both teams.The women’s team had a 9-9-1 overall record, losing in the first round of the conference to Vanguard University.


The women’s team lost six seniors this year, including goalkeeper Briana Williams, who started in 12 of the team’s matches this year. Williams had 60 saves this season and 172 in her three years at Biola. The Eagles will also lose one of their leading scorers, midfielder Amanda Lillicrop. Lillicrop scored seven goals for the Eagles this season, and made a total of 11 in her time at Biola.

Key players returning to the field for the women will be juniors Amanda Otto and Adeline Saldana. Sophomore Taylor Venegas stepped up for the Eagles this year, tying Lillicrop for most goals made this season.

The team will be a relatively young team in 2015, with nine sophomores and six seniors. The women look to make it back to the GSAC Championship Tournament in 2015. Last season the Eagles fell to Vanguard University in the semifinal round during overtime to end their record at 13-6.

The men lost five seniors this year, but will have a big junior class to fill the role of eight senior leaders for the 2015 season. Junior forward Stephen Tanquary lead the team in goals with eight points to better his previous two seasons by three goals. Midfielders John Hanscom and Joey O’Keefe along with goalkeeper JT Addington will continue to bring their dynamic style of play to the field.

The men and women will have their first scrimmages in late August against California State University, Los Angeles.


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