On November 12th, 2016, the 7th ranked Vanguard University women’s soccer team squared off against the 8th ranked Biola University women’s soccer team in the Golden State Athletic Conference championship final. This was an especially intriguing encounter for neutrals and fans alike, keeping in mind that the Lions had pipped the Eagles to the regular season title by only one point. The Eagles felt especially hard done by with this result considering that they went all season undefeated with an overall record of (15-0-2) and a GSAC record of (8-0-2). Furthermore, it was the Eagles who handed the Lions their solitary defeat in the conference about a month earlier at Al Barbour stadium. It was most certainly the Biola Eagles, therefore, who went into this rival match with a chip on their wings and everything to prove as an undefeated team at home.
The first half kicked off at Al Barbour stadium at about 7pm with 622 spectators eagerly watching in the stands. It was a fairly even match in the those initial 45 minutes with the home side recording seven shots to the away side’s six. However, Biola’s keeper Christina Rodriguez was the busier in goal, making two saves compared to Vanguard keeper Haley Magana’s one. Neither team was able to convert any of those shots into a goal though, as both teams carefully carried on with their game plans in hope of securing the gold. The second half most certainly saw an increase in shots with Biola nearly doubling Vanguard’s six second half shots with ten of their own. These shots proved to be in vain though, because senior captain Alex Bachman took the only one that mattered in the 72nd minute of the match to finish the contest with a final score of 1-0 for the visitors. The Lions had officially secured their place in the national tournament as both regular season and conference tournament champions. It was an outstanding achievement only made sweeter by the fact that they were able to avenge their regular season defeat to the Eagles at Al Barbour stadium and provide the Eagles with a defeat in their final GSAC game. Beginning next season, Biola University will be competing in NCAA division 2. Regardless of what happens in the NAIA national championships, the lady lions can be proud that they had the last roar at Al Barbour stadium.
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