Women’s soccer takes close loss

Eagles cannot find the back of the net, fall 1-0 to Fresno Pacific.

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Women’s soccer takes close loss

Photo by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES [File]

Photo by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES [File]

Photo by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES [File]

Photo by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES [File]

Joel Ashor, Sports Editor

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After a long trip to Hawaii that featured three games, Biola returned home to Al Barbour field Saturday night to take on PacWest foe Fresno Pacific University. The Sunbirds pushed through a goal in the eighth minute, and the Eagles could never quite put home a shot in the 1-0 loss.

“We just had one mistake that led to a goal. I think we need to continue to believe in each other… We have the ability and really strong players to finish and we just need to capitalize on that,” said junior midfielder Hali Oakes.

Junior goalkeeper Alyssa Joel earned the start for the Eagles, and had herself a solid game with eight saves. Junior midfielder Paula-Maria Labate took an early corner in the sixth minute for the Eagles that they could not convert, and just two minutes later the Sunbirds struck for what would be the game-winning goal.

Junior forward Sarah Jeffries put the pressure on FPU with a shot on goal in the 17th minute, but a save from the Sunbirds keeper kept the score at 1-0 heading into the half.

“We need to kinda go back to the drawing board and figure some things out on how we can be more confident combining going forward. We need to be able to build through the middle of the field and get numbers forward and we have quite a bit to fix in the attack,” said head coach Erin Brunelle.

In the second half the Sunbirds pressed more on goal, forcing Joel to make three saves in the first fifteen minutes of the half. None of the Eagles’ shots found the back of the net in the second half, despite shots from Labate and junior defender Colie Martin.

Biola now finds themselves in a must-win situation as they prepare for a big game against Azusa Pacific University Saturday, and coach Brunelle wants them to focus on how to win and not get caught up in the hype.

“Hopefully they’ll bring the emotion that they need, but we really need more focus than emotion and trying to make sure fundamentally we’re taking care of the things that we can control in the match,” Brunelle said.

The loss brings Biola’s record to 6-5-3 and 4-2-1 in PacWest play. They continue play at home against APU Saturday at 7 p.m.