With 5:10 left in overtime, senior midfielder Thomas Samayoa dispatched a shot into the top left corner of the penalty box for the game-winning goal to ensure the Eagles’ 1-0 victory over the University of Great Falls Argos Friday evening.
The first half proved to be a hard-nosed defensive bout. Both teams battled back-and-forth, shot after shot. The Argos amassed six total shots in the first with zero on goal. The Eagles countered with eight shots themselves, with two close shots on goal. One of those shots nearly put the Eagles on the board within the first seven minutes of the first half when senior forward Leonardo Contreras missed a wide open goal when the ball ricocheted off the right upright. Immediately, junior forward True Tramplin proceeded to get the rebound on a header, only to miss high.
The Eagles’ offense showed their determination in the second half, attacking aggressively with hopes to put ball to net.
With 26:27 to go in the second half, Biola missed another could-have-been goal as it ricocheted off the post. This time it came off an almost perfect laser from senior midfielder Devin Leon. Junior midfielder Jarrett Pugh proceeded to blunder a wide open header off Leon’s deflected shot.
Pugh missed by inches on another attempted header off a corner kick with 23 minutes to go in the game. Pugh had another chance at goal in the 80th minute off a rebound, but the Argos goalkeeper barely came up with the save.
The Eagles continued to control the tempo for the rest of the game with a couple more empty scoring opportunities, giving way for Great Falls to control the ball for the last minute of the game. Regulation ended after Great Falls nearly wedged a slow ball passed Eagles’ junior goalkeeper Igor Puglia in the winding seconds.
The last half of regulation proved to be a frustrating one nonetheless, as the offense managed to put pressure on but failed to capitalize on nine missed shots, including two near successful shots on goal.
“All I can say is probably bad luck,” Samayoa said. “The last three scrimmages were unfortunate losses, so we were just hyped up just to get that win here at home. There was high pressure on us due to the unfortunate three shots that hit the goal post, probably just bad luck. “
The score was knotted up at zero heading into overtime, and both teams took turns rapidly advancing the ball with empty results. However Samayoa’s goal in overtime allowed the Eagles to pick up their first win of the season and the first win on the newly refurbished Al Barbour field. The game-winning goal began with an assist by junior midfielder Yuri Cruz and was executed perfectly by Samayoa.
“We set out to put on high pressure on offense just to get that winning goal, and I remember we were playing it up the right flank and Yuri got it up front and gave me a perfect lofted pass and I got a touch on the ball. It was a well-timed moment,” Samayoa said.
With the win, the Eagles will enter their third regular season match at 1-1 overall. The Eagles’ next game will be held Monday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. at home against Rocky Mountain College.