Haven Luper-Jasso // THE CHIMES
Men’s soccer played their final home match under the Al Barbour Field lights against PacWest conference No. 2 ranked Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions on Wednesday. The Sea Lions blew the Eagles out with three goals in the first and second half. But the Eagles made a quick comeback in the second half, by scoring two goals and forcing the game into overtime. Senior defender Alejandro Pelayo scored the winning goal for the Eagles in overtime, earning the Eagles a sweet victory with a final score of 4-3.
The game took off quickly by the Sea Lions and the Eagles scoring a goal within the first six minutes of the game. The first goal came by a Sea Lion crossing the ball to another PLNU player in front of the goal line, forcing freshman goalkeeper JD Gunn to move to the right of the box to block the shot. The ball flew past him to the left side of the goal, earning PLNU their first goal.
A few seconds later, Biola recovered by picking up their first goal by sophomore midfielder Jonathan Serrano dribbling the ball down the field and kicking to the low left of the goal. After a foul on senior defender Jake Munivez, PLNU attempted a penalty kick to the goal and won their second point. The Eagles attempted to score again by freshman midfielder Owen Setran kicking low to the left of the goal but fell short by a save from the Sea Lions goalkeeper.
In the second half, senior forward Leo Thompson and Serrano each attempted one close shot to the goal which was later saved by the PLNU goalkeeper. The Sea Lions picked up their final goal midway through the half. Gunn dived to catch the ball but missed after a Sea Lion kicked to the low left of the goal.
QUICK SECOND HALF COMEBACK
Biola attempted to catch up on the scoreboard and nailed it with two quick goals in the last 20 minutes before time expired. Senior forward Hunter Finnegan threw in the ball and Thompson assisted by crossing to sophomore midfielder Oscar Rubalcava which kicked high to the right of the goal. A few minutes later, Rubalcava assisted the ball and passed to freshman midfielder Jack Kilgallon which kicked high to the right of the goal, tying the game, 3-3.
“I was just thinking about my team. Especially for the seniors, this is their last opportunity for them to play on this field. I wanted to do it for them,” Kilgallon said.
The Eagles looked to score another goal by attempting one freekick and one goal kick but fell short. PLNU attempted a goal at the end of the half by kicking to the low right of the goal, forcing Gunn to make a quick save.
EAGLES EARN OVERTIME VICTORY
At overtime, the Eagles came out of the gates with two close shots made by freshman midfielder Alex Lugo and Finnegan that were saved by the Sea Lions goalkeeper. With three minutes left on the clock, the Eagles earned their winning goal by a corner kick.
Lugo set the ball up for a corner kick and kicked to the Eagles. The ball was collected by Thompson and he recorded his third assist of the season by passing the ball to Pelayo which scored his first goal of the season and earned the Eagles a win by a final score of 4-3.
“I just felt a lot of joy. This is my last home game as a senior,” Pelayo said. “It felt amazing to do that for the rest of the seniors and carry it on for the next season, so they can keep on going.”
Many of the Eagles contributed to the nine shot attempts on goal and 13 shots overall. Gunn also recorded eight saves throughout the game.
“It’s a game that you hope your team can pull off on their last home game and on their senior night,” said head coach Todd Elkins. “It’s gotta be our best win of the season by probably a long shot.”
The victory moved the Eagles to 5-3-2 in the PacWest conference and 7-7-3 overall. They will play their final regular season game in Fresno, California against the Fresno Pacific University on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.