Men’s soccer shuts out APU

The Eagles notched their first Cornerstone Cup victory in enemy territory.


Austin Green, Writer

Men’s soccer continued its recent hot stretch, scoring two late goals to notch their first PacWest road win on Oct. 4. The victory carried even more importance, as it marked the first men’s soccer Cornerstone Cup competition and Biola’s first victory in the program-wide battle against Azusa Pacific University.

Slow start

In front of a large Biola contingent on APU’s campus in Azusa, Calif., the Eagles started slowly out of the gate with three fouls and did not record their first shot until over 12 minutes into the game. Neither team could get out of their own way, as both the Cougars and the Eagles finished the scoreless first half with two offsides each and only seven combined shots. APU recorded the only corner kick of the half, but could not convert on the opportunity as Cougars midfielder Arturo Astorga’s header missed high above the goal.

At halftime, Eagles head coach Todd Elkins sought to light a fire under his team.

“This isn’t summer workouts any more, boys,” Elkins told the Eagles, according to Biola Athletics’ official Twitter account. “This is game time! The time to come together is now!”

The Eagles did exactly that in the second half, pelting the APU goal from the onset of the second half. Senior forward Keaton Kerr had three shots within the first eight minutes of the period, but APU goalkeeper Brendan Fix saved two of them and the other one missed high. Still, Kerr’s run almost singlehandedly matched the shot total from the entire Biola team in the first half. The Cougars responded with a flurry of shots of their own in the 55th and 56th minutes, but could not break through the Eagles’ defense.

Biola controlled the ball from that point forward, but shots from senior midfielder Jarrett Pugh, junior midfielder Hernan Sotelo, sophomore defender Alejandro Pelayo, freshman midfielder Stephen Moya and sophomore midfielder Colton Hunter all failed to find the back of the net. They also failed to capitalize on a whopping four corner kicks.

A break through

Finally, the Eagles broke through in the 82nd minute on a header from Kerr. It marked the senior’s third goal of the season, all of which have come in the Eagles’ last two games. Biola added insurance just three minutes later when Pugh made a penalty kick to put the game out of APU’s reach.

The Eagles had a whopping 11 shots in the second half after only recording four in the first half, finishing with 15 (five on goal). The most amazing statistic of the night, however, came courtesy of Biola’s defense: the Cougars had only seven total shots throughout the game, none of which were on goal. It marked the third Eagles shutout of the season, and by far their most impressive showing on the defensive end.

The Eagles moved to 4-4-1 on the season (3-1 PacWest). They will travel north to continue conference play at Fresno Pacific University on Oct. 7.

After women’s soccer tied APU earlier in the day, Biola as a program moved to 1-1-1 against APU so far this season. The next matchup between the two schools takes place on Oct. 7 in volleyball as the Eagles look to avenge a narrow Sept. 22 loss at APU. The game will mark the first Cornerstone Cup contest hosted by Biola.

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