Jessie Burns scorches Warriors’ defense

Despite two goals from midfielder Jessie Burns, women’s soccer ties Westmont College 2-2.

Kyle Kohner, Writer

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There were bumps, bruises and fouls in a hard fought women’s soccer game against Westmont College on Sept. 30. After a sluggish start by the Eagles’ offense, junior midfielder Jessie Burns kept the team in contention with two clutch goals to help Biola maintain a perfect record.

Aggressive Defense

Coming into the game, the Eagles knew they would be in for a battle. The game began with physical exchanges of possession, highlighted by another injury scare when senior forward Brittney Sayre went down when she and a Westmont defender tangled up. Thankfully, after a few minutes, Sayre shook it off and continued to play.

Biola fell behind with 35 minutes to go, when Westmont sophomore midfielder Alanna Richards headed in a ball into the net off on an assisted corner kick by Westmont senior defender and Golden State Athletic Conference women’s defender of the week Angela Brown. The Eagles’ had to deal with Brown’s aggressive defense throughout the whole game. Coming into the game Brown was tied for third in the GSAC in assists with four and now has five.

Physical Play

For the the majority of the first half it was a struggle on offense, failing to spread out on the field. Westmont took advantage, dominating at the point of attack and giving their offense many scoring opportunities with six shots compared to the Eagles’ one shot. That was the struggle for the Eagles in the first half until the 13-to-go mark. Burns scored a header, assisted off a long ball from the right flank by sophomore midfielder Rachel Giles.

The first half saw plenty of physicality, but the second half brought brutality with both teams going all or nothing, putting all bodies and health on the line. The second half began with a quick scoring chance by Westmont, halted by senior goalkeeper Amanda Johnson, who faced 21 shots. For the first 15 minutes of the second half Biola played Westmont’s game, going toe to toe with the Warriors brutal style. Both sides combined for 12 fouls. If that stat does not say enough about the physical play in the game, there were also a total of 22 in-game substitutions in order for players to rest.

Close Opportunities

Burns emphasized staying strong and tight on defense, especially up the middle, which were keys to the physical adjustments Biola had to make in the second half. The Eagles’ perfect record was on the line with 25 minutes to go as Westmont’s leading scorer and senior forward Kelsey Steck found the net taking the lead 2-1. Steck now has six goals on the year.

After a flurry of physical exchanges by both sides, time was winding down to keep the Eagles in the game. But with 9:02 left on the clock Burns striked again with a goal that resulted from a perfect throw in, finding the middle of the net. The game was tied 2-2. Burns’ two scores are her fourth and fifth goals of the year, tying her for the team lead in that category. 2-2 is where the game would end despite going into overtime as both teams had close opportunities to secure the win but the play by both defenses and goalkeepers cemented a tie in tonight’s game.

Undefeated

“The goal of tonight was to stay 33 strong whether you get a minute of play or not, everyone contributed tonight,” Burns said. “We just need to stay strong from the first minute on to prevent that first or second goal, so that we can attack and surge later on.”

After tying with Westmont, Biola stays undefeated at 7-0-3 and Westmont still sits atop the GSAC standings. Biola’s next game is at home versus the Marymount College Mariners who are 3-3-2 on the season. The game is Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.