PHOENIX, Ariz. --- Arizona Christian University's men's soccer team defeated No. 8-ranked Biola University Eagles in one of the greatest victories in Firestorm soccer history, Tuesday night.
The Firestorm had just come off their first GSAC win this season, as they beat the Master's College 2-1 last Saturday. The win against the Mustangs moved the Firestorm to 1-1 in the GSAC. The Firestorm men would then face a tough Biola squad who also was 1-1 coming into the match.
In the first half, the Eagles looked poised to get off to a quick start as they put five shots on goal. Jorge Arauz, who got the start for the Firestrom was relentless in goal recording five saves in the first half. His biggest save coming off a corner kick, where a header got placed on net and Arauz knocked it out. He then turned around to create a diving save across goal from a rebound shot, a save that gave energy to the team and crowd. Hanzel Rodriguez created two opportunities for the Firestorm, but both times JT Addington was there for the save.
The first half would stand still at nil-nil.
In the second half, Rodriguez would try to gather a ball inside the box and a foul would be called. Carlos Villa would take the penalty shot for the Firestorm and put the ball away in the 58th minute. The Eagles would then go on attack mode firing off eight shots on goal in the second half. With five minutes left in the match the Firestorm would create a spark as Rodriguez placed a ball to Carlos Mendoza, who then set up Villa for the game-winning goal in the 85th minute to seal the victory.
"This was an absolute, program-defining win," said Head Coach Jonathan Lenarz. "Biola is a very solid team and we went toe to toe tonight. Our defense, especially Josh Love and Kevin Mellen, played with such conviction that when we got the first goal, I knew we would make it stand up. The second was perfect counter-attacking soccer and well deserved for Carlos Villa who has been exceptional in the last five games. I'm not sure there is a better player in our conference right now. Now we need to regroup and hopefully get a couple of starters well in time for another big match on Saturday."
The Firestorm tallied six shots on goal, while the Eagles recorded 13 shots on goal.
Arizona Christian advances to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in GSAC play, while Biola stands at 7-2-1 and 1-2 in the GSAC.