Biola's lacrosse team played long-time rival Occidental on Saturday night in what was easily the best game of the season, if not ever.
Biola and Occidental have a long history together. Occi was the first team Biola ever played in the regular season. The year was 2002 and the game was at Occi. If I recall correctly, that is the game where Tiffin scored three goals to much applause and kudos. We ultimately lost, but it wasn't a blow-out and the scores got closer and closer as the years went by. 2004, after I had graduated, was the year Josh had taken up the Agadoni banner with the quiet dignity befitting our humble name by scoring approximately 3 million goals per game. Unfortunately, Biola needed 3 million and 1, and the 2004 Occi game ended in a heart-breaking sudden-death loss. (Special note: reader J.Ol came all the way from LB for this game! My uncle Dave Stubbs was in attendance as well.) 2005 and 2006 ended similarly. It seemed we were doomed to forever be Occi's "almost."
All this was changed Saturday night. Under the bright lights of Biola's turf field, the Eagles squared off against their old foe at 7pm sharp. The beginning of the game was fairly even, but Occi found an early lead and kept high defensive pressure on the Eagles, which they didn't seem used to. However, the Eagles adapted quickly and brought the game up to a tie by applying the same sort of pressure. The forced a lot of turnovers which kept the ball on the offensive side for a good portion of the game. Also, Biola got this new kid as goalie and he did a phenomenal job. He made some great low saves, and though he let a few high ones slip by, he adapted and made some clutch saves towards the end as well. Biola was up by two going into the 4th quarter. The game was scoreless for quite a bit of the 4th, but Occi took some well-placed shots and managed to tie it up before the clock ran out.
Now it was sudden-death: 5 minutes of clock time and the first team to score gets the game. A situation we'd seen before. Nerves were strained almost to the breaking point.
Face-off: Occi wins it. Their coach calls time out. Crap. Now they're going to set up a play. All it takes is one opening and a decently placed shot and it's over. Please, not this again!
The game starts again, Occi is moving the ball around. There's a shot! It pings of the goalie's leg and then the pole! Biola recovers it, leading to a fast-break. Ryan Smith, long-pole middie, is wheeling the ball out of there as fast as he can. Ben Agadoni on attack is keeping an eye out for the pass. Smith crosses the mid-field line and snaps a nice pass to Ben, who turns, fires, and is leveled by Occi's goalie. But the shot was true, and ball was in. GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAL!!
Biola wins. Next week is against UCI, our other big rival. Man, good season. Way to go, guys.