|Over and Out|
On an evening when The Master’s College men’s soccer team needed a win to clinch a playoff spot and scored more than one goal in a match for the first time in nearly a month, it surrendered a season-high four goals to Biola and lost (4-2) not only a game but a chance to defend its GSAC Tournament title.
The Saturday evening loss in La Mirada extended the Mustangs’ winless skid to five matches and dropped the club (6-7-3, 3-6-1 GSAC) into ninth place in the conference, a single point out of the playoff picture. It capped a dramatic fall from last year’s lofty successes.
Seeking a victory that would have secured a fifth-place finish, the Mustangs broke on top first when senior Andrew Totaro shot one in past Biola goalie Aaron Fenlason off a rebound block at the 22:16 mark of the opening period.
That slightest of margins held up for just over three minutes as the Eagles evened things up on a Marco Ruvalcaba header at 25:37. Then with just under a minute left (58 seconds) in the first half, Biola’s Kennedy Chongo took a pass from Zach Bautista and shot the ball past Mustang goalie Andrew Bussell for a 2-1 lead, one it would never relinquish.
And, Chongo wasn’t done, either. Nearly thirty minutes later, at the 73:25 mark, he put one past Bussell into the left corner of the net off an assist from Carlos Ballesteros, giving the Eagles some breathing room and a 3-1 advantage.
Pushed into desperation mode, the Mustangs responded, narrowing the gap to one goal on an Andy Hegg penalty kick with just 2:59 left to play. But, the Mustangs would get no closer and a late (89:16) tally by Biola’s Kenny Anderson clinched the win for the hosts.
For the fifth game in a row (mirroring the Mustangs’ winless streak), the Mustangs outshot their opponents, this time by a 13-11 count. However, the Eagles put more on goal (7-6) and their outstanding conversion rate (57.1%) made the difference.