Women’s soccer moves on to GSAC final

Biola shuts out Menlo 2-0 in GSAC semifinal with goals by Burns and Venegas.


Senior midfielder Miranda Starbeck heads the ball at the game against San Diego Christian College on Oct. 22. | Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Kyle Kohner, Writer

Biola women’s soccer team wins 2-0 with a dominant defensive effort, allowing three total shots the entire game. To match their strong defense, the Eagles’ offense dug themselves out of a recent offensive rut by tallying on two goals by junior midfielder Jessie Burns and junior forward Taylor Venegas.

The first half of the semifinal matchup between Biola University and Menlo College was back and forth with neither defense giving an inch to its opponent’s offense. The Eagles’ defense was especially dominant, holding the Oaks to only one total shot the entire half.

The second half was Biola’s chance to display their offensive power. Burns received a penalty kick and capitalized on the opportunity, poking a deadly strike past Menlo’s sophomore goalie Kaylin Swart in to the right side of the net.

“I definitely felt the pressure before kicking the penalty kick, but thankfully we as a team worked diligently on pk’s this week. I studied the Menlo’s goalie tendencies during those type of situations, so I was pretty confident in which move she would make, and I knew I would score,” Burns said.

Later on in the half Venegas received a through ball from junior midfielder Mariah Ziemer. This provided a one-on-one opportunity between Venegas and Menlo's goalkeeper. With her shifty ball skills, Venegas pushed the ball past Swart, resulting in a highlight worthy goal.

“The team played well today. We had great communication, we just need to work more on capitalizing on those scoring opportunities, we had a couple that hit the post,” Venegas said.

Biola truly dominated the game, obtaining its 10th shutout of the season and out-shooting the Oaks 16 shots to three.

“The girls were great displaying what we worked on this week, including penalty kicks, we had a feeling that the game might come down to them, but for it to happen during regulation was surprising. Burns was confident she could get the goal and she did,” said Erin Brunelle, head coach.

The Eagles move on to play Westmont on Saturday, a matchup of the top two teams for the regular season. Westmont defeated Vanguard University 2-1 in overtime Thursday. The championship round will be home at 4:00 p.m. The winner of that game will be awarded a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.

UPDATE: Despite the loss the Eagles were selected to the National Tournament field. The Eagles will play their first round Nov.21 in Oregon to play the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers.
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