Early goal leads to women’s soccer victory

Eagles shut down Seattle Pacific, and lone goal holds up for the win.


Junior forward Sarah Jeffries handles the ball during the Eagles’ game against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Aug. 30, 2018. Courtesy George Rodriguez/Biola Athletics

Joel Ashor, Sports Editor

On a beautiful Saturday night at Al Barbour Field, Biola women’s soccer took on Seattle Pacific University, and the team’s defense backed up junior forward Sarah Jeffries’ goal for the 1-0 Eagles victory.

The lone score of the game came early in the first half, when junior forward Annmarie Alvarez chipped the ball to Jeffries off a throw in, and she finished with a beautiful shot to the top left corner of the goal. Ironically, the shot was not intended to be on goal.

“Honestly, it was supposed to be a cross, but it ended up being a goal. It was a perfect layoff and perfect setup for me to score,” Jeffries said.

The Eagles defense did an excellent job keeping the Falcons off the scoreboard all night, and freshman goalie Viviana Poli played a huge part in that, recording six saves. Perhaps the best play of the night came midway through the second half when an SPU player ripped a shot to the top of the goal, but Poli leaped and knuckled it above the post to preserve the shutout.

“My keeper coach has specifically been working with me, and that moment was amazing for me. Pushing it over the pole and getting air on that just was perfectly timed and perfectly predicted,” Poli said.

Head coach Erin Brunelle was very pleased with the play of her young goalie to solidify the shutout.

“She came up big for us on a number of occasions. Coming out hard in the first half really solidified us walking into the break up 1-0. I can remember two or three other saves in the second half that kept them off the board and allowed us to hold onto the lead,” Brunelle said.

Brunelle was especially satisfied with her team’s ability to communicate and be prepared against the Falcons.

“The ladies implemented everything that we’d worked on all week in practice, knowing that SPU played a diamond midfield, something we hadn’t seen before. They communicated really well; our ladies were able to defend well enough to keep them off the board,” Brunelle said.

The Eagles (2-2-1 overall) begin PacWest play at Point Loma Nazarene University on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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