Men climb to conference top

The men’s soccer team won back-to-back conference games against San Diego Christian College and Westmont College.

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Men climb to conference top

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Marika Adamopoulos

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Marika Adamopoulos

Marika Adamopoulos

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Jack Finck, Writer

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The Biola men’s soccer team currently ranks first in the Golden State Athletic Conference after beating San Diego Christian College on Sept. 26 and Westmont College on Sept. 29. They stand one point ahead of No. 8 Vanguard University, who hold a 8-1 record while being 2-0 in conference.

Preserving Their Lead

Their first conference win came against San Diego Christian. A little more than nine minutes into the game, senior defenseman Carlos Cristhian Aparicio capitalized on a through ball by John Hanscom to put the Eagles up 1-0. This was Aparicio’s first goal of the season. 

Biola added to their lead later in the first period with a goal from senior midfielder Joey O’Keefe. O’keefe scored his fifth score of the season off an assist by sophomore forward Keaton Kerr. The combination of solid defense and four saves by senior goalkeeper J.T. Addington helped the Eagles preserve their lead and finish the game by a score of 2-0. 

Working Hard

The Eagles carried the momentum of their first conference win against Westmont to jump to an early 2-0 lead by half. O’Keefe received an assist from fellow senior captain, forward Stephen Tanquary. Tanquary shot on the Warriors goalkeeper and O’Keefe raced to the rebound and put it in the back of the net. 

“I think the key for us was working harder than the other team,” said senior midfielder Marshall Deogracia. “At times we weren’t finding exactly what we wanted to find, but I think the first goal demonstrated that hard work can get us a win.”  

Building Momentum

Biola extended their lead 20 minutes into the second half when junior forward Leonardo Contreras scored his fifth goal of the season off an assist by O’Keefe. 

“I just kept running, kept following the play and it was a good chance,” Contreras said. 

The Warriors finally answered with a goal of their own, but it was offset by another goal for the Eagles. O’Keefe earned his second assist of the game when he snuck the ball behind a Westmont defender to junior midfielder Devon Leon. Biola won the game 3-1. 

“I think it’s huge [winning two GSAC games],” Deogracia said. “We’re trying to get on a roll and trying to get the GSAC Championship, so we just got to keep moving forward and keep rolling with this momentum that we’re building.” 

Positive Attitudes

Biola has more than a week off before their next game against conference opponent William Jessup University at home on Oct. 8. The Warriors currently hold a season record of 2-4-1 while being 0-1 in conference.  

“We’re getting to know each other more and more,” Contreras said. “So we’re going in for the next game just thinking we’re going to win this and just talent and people just working hard.”