RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Sophomore forward Alex Earl’s second-half goal snapped over 60 minutes of scoreless soccer, leading the NAIA’s No. 9-ranked Azusa Pacific to its sixth straight victory, a 1-0 shutout over California Baptist Saturday afternoon.
After trailing in total shots in the first half, 5-4, the Cougars generated a pair of shots, were whistled offside twice and had a corner kick in the first 15 minutes of the half before Earl finished junior midfielder Dana Yoshizu’s short cross from center for his team-high sixth goal of the season in the 65th minute.
Azusa Pacific didn’t allow a shot through the first 25 minutes of the second half, but California Baptist put on the pressure over the final 20. The Lancers generated all 7 of their second-half shots after Earl’s scoring strike, and junior goalkeeper Tyler Stromberg saved both of California Baptist’s shots on goal to preserve the shutout.
During its current 6-game winning streak, Azusa Pacific has posted 4 straight shutouts and has blanked 5 of its 6 opponents during the stretch. The Cougars have 6 shutouts on the year and have surrendered only a single goal in the other 5 contests. In addition, Azusa Pacific ran its scoreless streak to 363 consecutive minutes, the longest streak for the defending NAIA champions since a 6-game stretch last year.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 7-2-2, 4-0 in GSAC play, and California Baptist drops to 5-4-2, 1-2-1 GSAC. The Cougars are back in action on Tuesday, Oct. 14, hosting The Master's College at the Cougar Soccer Complex at 3:00 p.m.