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High-Flying Cougars Win Big Again

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September 1, 2007
Joe Reinsch
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Senior Steven Lenhart headed in a pair of goals in the first 15 minutes, leading the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific to a 7-0 victory over Dominican Saturday at Westmont’s Heritage Club Classic.

The Cougars, 6-0 winners over Northwestern (Iowa) yesterday, converted nearly half of their 15 shots in the game, while holding Dominican to just 3 shots.

Lenhart got Azusa Pacific on the board just an instant before the 1-minute mark in the game, heading in a cross from junior Jared Karkas. In the 14th minute, Matt Kristoff scored his first goal of the season with assists from seniors Sven Simon and Kolt Callaway.

Just a minute and a half later, Karkas again crossed in for an assist, with Lenhart heading home the goal for a 3-0 lead. Karkas, who assisted 3 goals in yesterday’s season opener, joined the scoring column himself in the 30th minute, taking the assist from Simon to give Azusa Pacific a 4-0 advantage at halftime for the second straight game.

Sophomore forward Mike Wilson scored unassisted in the 60th minute to give the Cougars a 5-0 lead in the 60th minute. Freshmen Adam Holstein and Ashkon Banihashemi tacked on their first collegiate goals in the final 2 minutes to round out the scoring and give Azusa Pacific the 7-0 victory.

Sophomore Tyler Stromberg didn’t face a shot in the first half, and senior Zach Baker preserved the team shutout with a single save in the second half.

The 13 goals scored marked the highest 2-game total since the 2005 squad combined for 15 goals in a pair of non-conference wins over Illinois-Springfield (8-0) and Judson (Ill.) (7-1) in the second and third games of that campaign. The Cougars had not scored as many combined goals in 2 games to start the season since 1973, and the back-to-back blankings marked the first consecutive shutouts to open a season since 2002.

With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 2-0, while Dominican remains winless in 3 games this season. The Cougars return home for the Cougar Classic next weekend, where they will host Cal State San Marcos on Friday, Sept. 7 and Corban (Ore.) on Saturday, Sept. 8, with both matches slated to kick off at 3 p.m. Westmont will play Corban on Friday at 1 p.m. and Cal State San Marcos on Saturday at 3 p.m. to fill out the Cougar Classic schedule.