SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-- After a scoreless first half, Academy of Art University got a pair of second half goals to hold off the Azusa Pacific men’s soccer team with a 2-1 win in the Cougars’ first-ever Pacific West Conference match. Azusa Pacific, which lost back-to-back regular season matches for the first time since 2009, outshot the Urban Knights 17-7 over the final 45 minutes, 32 of which saw the Cougars with a man-up advantage after AAU’s Thorvaldu Sveinsson was ejected with a straight red card in the 58th minute.
Art U (2-3, 1-0) broke the 0-0 tie in the 49th minute when Jonmundu Gretarsson found Patrick Heinemann on a breakaway to beat Cougar keeper Joe Geletko. The Urban Knights then padded their lead with a second score in the 68th minute, again off a Gretarsson pass, when Jesus Sanchez went left post from 10 yards out to make it a 2-0 match. The Cougars, however, continued to press, earning two good chances on back-to-back possessions before freshman Keenan Armbrust found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one.
Before the goal Luke Ackermann had his shot sail wide of the post in the 74th, and then Oktay Bulut, who assisted on Ackermann’s goal, had his look blocked less than a minute later. On the Cougars’ scoring play Bulut dribbled through to the left side of the box, and centered it to Armbrust at the top, who finished left post for his first career goal.
Following the score Michael Sahagian and Bulut had shot attempts blocked in the 79th and 80th minutes, while Garrett Mehrguth’s bid for the equalizer sailed over the bar in the 82nd. Azusa Pacific continued to earn shots, with Jeremy Bishop getting a good look in the 90th before Ackermann settled the block and put an attempt on target before Art U’s Ian Sutherland stopped it for his fifth save of the day just before time expired.
Azusa Pacific recorded nine of the final 10 shots of the match, including seven would-be equalizers over the last 15 minutes. Bishop and Armbrust put both of their shots on frame in the game, while Bulut and Ackermann recorded a shot-on-goal apiece. Geletko notched one save.
The loss drops the Cougars to a break-even 2-2-1 this year, and keeps Azusa Pacific winless away from the Cougar Soccer Complex (0-2-1). On Saturday they’ll try to break that trend when they travel to play Dominican for a 1:30 p.m. contest.