Eagles ground Hawks on senior night

Men’s soccer shuts down San Diego Christian for second consecutive win.

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Eagles ground Hawks on senior night

Jacob Knopf/ THE CHIMES

Jacob Knopf/ THE CHIMES

Jacob Knopf/ THE CHIMES

Jacob Knopf/ THE CHIMES

Kyle Kohner, Writer

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Senior forwards Daniel Martinez, Leonardo Contreras and midfielders Devin Leon and Thomas Samayoa played their last regular season minutes at Al Barbour Field in winning fashion over the San Diego Christian University Hawks. However, theses seniors are determined to extend their final ride past the regular season with high hopes of playing playoff soccer in front of their home crowd.

The Mission Continues

“I still don’t feel [the emotions surrounding this last home game], I might feel it later,” Contreras said. “We are on a mission to continue winning, that is the focus right now, but I am happy that we won and worked really hard on this special night.”

With 10:09 left in the first half, sophomore midfielder and defender Kousei Mattox opened up scoring with a penalty kick that hit the bottom left of the net for his first goal of the season. The goal marked the Eagles’ second converted PK in as many games— a great sign for their improving offense. The Oct. 22 game says a lot about the increased attacking mentality by this team, as they increasingly get into the penalty box and come away with positive results, whether a goal or a drawn foul.

In the first half, the Eagles controlled the ball well, pushed up the field offensively under their own terms and consistently snuffed the attacking opposition.

The first half presented itself as a chippy one, with both teams receiving one yellow card each. The referees could have pulled more on the the usually overly physical Hawks team, who also had to sit out a few of their own players because of foul trouble. The Hawks’ over-aggressive nature hurt them in the first half as Biola benefited from Mattox’s PK.

In the second half, the Eagles faced a cleaner, but still more aggressive, Hawks team, as the Hawks came close to scoring on numerous occasions. However, the dominant play of the Eagles’ defense once again dictated the momentum of the game.

Fresh faces break through

With 9:12 left in the game, junior defender Clayton Mohler sealed the game when he bent a corner kick towards the goalkeeper which he mishandled, resulting in Mohler’s first goal of the season.

With the offense finding their niche, junior goalkeeper Igor Puglia becoming a mainstay in the net and their defense playing as dominant as ever the Eagles find themselves on the fast track towards success despite a recent rough stretch.

“We had an away game against San Diego we lost a couple weeks ago and we should have won that game,” Contreras said. “We were really mad at ourselves, but we told ourselves and each other that we were going to work even harder during the bye week we had, and you saw in this game how hard we worked and improved.”

This win testifies as a huge momentum boost for Biola. The Eagles had vengeance against the same team that deflated them in double-overtime two weeks ago in El Cajon. The Oct. 8 loss epitomized a tough stretch for the Eagles, but this win combined with last week’s victory against the Hope International University Royals launches the Eagles back into the Golden State Athletic Conference title race. Biola moves their overall record to 10-4 and their GSAC record to 5-3.

The Eagles’ next match will be on the road in Atherton, Calif. to take on the Menlo College Oaks on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.