Seniors share their experiences

Women’s soccer’s five seniors reflect on their final regular season home match.



Dale Fredriks, Writer

The final regular season home game for Biola’s women’s soccer team ended in a fitting 5-0 victory over the San Diego Christian University Hawks. Forwards Jessie Burns and Taylor Venegas, midfielders McKenna Marmelstein and Mariah Ziemer and defender Kayla White all had family and friends to support them on their senior night, but do not have to say goodbye to Al Barbour Field quite yet.

A goal a piece for each senior

Biola received the opportunity to host the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament for the second year in a row, so the Eagles still have at least one game at home before the end of the season. However, the seniors would love to see the team go even further.

“Last year, going to Nationals was a huge accomplishment,” Ziemer said. “So this year, as seniors, we were saying, ‘Let’s do it again, if not, do better.’ We really want to win GSAC. That is another one of the goals that we kind of set as a class.”

Ziemer and captain Venegas found themselves in the unfortunate position of having to sit out on their senior night, as injuries from a game against Hope International University on Oct. 19 kept them on the bench. Both players are optimistic they will be back before the postseason begins, which would be great for an Eagles team suffering from a number of injuries this season, yet has remained successful thanks to quality play from a number of lowerclassmen.

“I think that our underclassmen really took it upon themselves to make it really special for us and score goals,” White said. “I just thought that was really awesome because they came off the bench late in the game and were able to put goals away for us.”

The underclassmen showed up in force on senior night, accounting for four of the five goals scored, including two from freshman forward Annmarie Alvarez late into the second half. Several of the seniors found it ironic that on the senior night celebrating five seniors, the game ended with five goals on the board.

“I totally guessed it, too. I guessed 5-0,” Venegas said. “And it totally works out because there are five seniors, so, one goal for every senior. It was super awesome to see our team be able to still put goals away without some of the normal starter people.”

All five of the seniors have played for the soccer team all four of their collegiate years, and each will take something away from the experience a little bit different from the others.

A close-knit family

“I have been close every year here, it has been cool to see how Biola women’s soccer is just like a close-knit family,” Burns said. “But this year there is just that little extra level of spiritual and relational intimacy from that trip of just spending 14 days together, serving and loving the Japanese people.”

The trip refers to the missions trip the team took to Japan from July 28 to Aug. 8, 2016 in order to serve in Osaka and Iwata, Japan, playing outreach games as well as partnering with local churches.

The season started with one pivotal team-bonding experience and senior night proved another, as the seniors felt the love and affection of their teammates, coaches and fans alike.
“Personally, it was just a feeling that probably I will never forget,” Marmelstein said. “It was something that united us a different way than we have been united before.”
Oct. 22 may have marked the final regular season home game, but Biola still has two more road games before the postseason starts. On Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m., the women travel up to Menlo College for game one of the Northern California road trip, followed by game two against William Jessup University on Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m.
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