Men’s soccer excels in high competition

Battling against difficult opponents, the Eagles are on a four-game winning streak with a 4-1 record.

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Chak Hee Lo/ THE CHIMES

Keaton Moore, Writer

En route to their 4-1 start to the 2016 season, the men’s soccer team faced heavy competition and managed to build a four-game winning streak after dropping the season opener.

Close, but still a win

The Eagles improved their road record with a one-goal victory over the California State University San Marcos Cougars. Although the Eagles had many opportunities to score, kicking ten shots through regulation, the strong effort by both defenses kept the game tied at zero. In overtime, it took just over a minute for Biola to best San Marcos in an unusual way. After a long Biola throw-in, a misplaced header off the head of one of the Cougar’s defenders ended up in the goal and was ruled an own-goal.

“In the game of soccer, the only statistic that really matters is how many each team scored,” said junior midfielder True Tamplin. “We deserved that win, so to get that victory bolstered our team so much.”

Returning to Al Barbour Field, the Eagles beat the Antelope Valley Pioneers 2-1 and won their fourth game in a row. Both teams fought hard, with Biola putting up 23 shots against the Pioneers, but a goal by senior forward Leonardo Contreras in the 30th minute gave the Eagles the lead. Although junior midfielder Jarrett Pugh increased Biola’s lead to 2-0 with a goal late in the game, Biola’s defense and two saves by junior goalkeeper Igor Puglia kept San Marcos scoreless through regulation.

Low-scoring victories

Despite their phenomenal start, the only concerning factor in the Eagles’ first five games is their lack of scoring. In contrast to last season, when Biola started the season 4-1 and scored 15 goals through the five games, the Eagles have won or lost all but one of their games by one goal. Thus far, the Eagles have only made five goals and have yet to score more than two goals in one game.

“Last year we had a great team, but I believe we are not that much different this year,” Tamplin said. “We’ve faced two teams in the top 25 in the nation, and one we lost to and the other, Rocky Mountain, we beat. The other was receiving votes, which means they are almost in the top 25, and a division two team. So, the first four teams we faced were really high caliber and we’re pretty happy with the start we have had.”

The Eagles continue on their six-game home stand and play their final non-conference match against the University of California Merced Bobcats on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.

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