The Cougars were able to take down rival Biola on Tuesday with a comeback win thanks to an 82nd-minute game-winning goal
It’s always an exciting time when two rivals like Biola and Azusa Pacific meet for competition, no matter the sport. The situation was no different on Tuesday night as Azusa Pacific’s women’s soccer took on their biggest rival on senior night.
Not only was an important win on the line, but the Cornerstone Cup was also on the minds of both squads. The Cougars look to keep the cup for another year while Biola looks to win it for the first time. Fortunately for the Cougars, two second-half goals were enough to get the 2-1 win over their rival.
Coming into this match, Biola was riding a nine-game win streak and they hadn’t lost a game in their last 11, boasting a record of 10-0-1 in their last 11. The challenge for APU was daunting, but the focus remained on the game in front of them.
“Coming into tonight we talked to the girls about opportunities for defining moments and we knew that this was going to be one of those opportunities,” said head coach Brooke Lincoln.
The first half of the competition was even as both sides got offensive opportunities, but weren’t able to cash in. As time went on, it felt like the dam was about to break for one of the teams and a bounce happened to go in the favor of Biola late in the first half. Scoring in the 42nd minute just before halftime, Biola took the momentum and the lead into halftime as the score sat at 1-0.
Going into the second half, the mood shifted as the Cougars came out with speed and confidence against their foe. It was as if that late first-half goal was completely wiped from their memories. A new half presented a new opportunity and the Cougars took full advantage. Scoring in the 52nd minute, senior Emmy Koflanovich put the Cougars on the board and tied the game at one goal apiece.
From there on, it seemed like the Cougars had Biola on their heels, which had been a rare experience for the Eagles coming into this match, as they had been dominating play for well over a month. APU proved that anything can happen if the game is played right.
“I’m just really proud of the girls,” said Lincoln. “There was a drive to play for the seniors tonight and they got the result they were looking for.”
As the game remained tied going down to the wire, APU was continually getting more chances and built momentum. In the 82nd minute, late-game heroics were witnessed for the second game in a row as junior Maddy Morrison found the back of the net to give APU the lead.
“We came out with a lot of energy today,” said Morrison. “Playing in big games we definitely step up our game.”
The go-ahead goal from Morrison would be enough to grab the win over Biola. APU was the underdog coming into this one, but came out on top, grabbing points for the Cornerstone Cup.
Looking ahead, this was a big confidence boost for a team that has experienced some hills and valleys this season. On senior night, the seniors led by example for the younger players who will be continuing their collegiate careers at APU in the coming years. This was a huge win for APU both on and off the field.