AZUSA, Calif. -- Junior goalkeeper Chip Cox had two saves against BYU-Hawaii as he earned his first shutout of the season as Azusa Pacific defeated BYU-Hawaii, 3-0, in a Pacific West Conference matchup Saturday afternoon.
The victory gave the Cougars their first four-game winning streak of the season, and they scored all three of their goals in the second half, including Kevin Yang's first of the season, assisted by Leonardo Grigg. Keenan Armbrust and Luke Ackermann each chipped in with second-half goals, as well. The shutout also represented the first cleansheet for Azusa Pacific in nearly a month, as the last shutout posted by the Cougars was a 5-0 road win over Dominican four weeks ago.
BYU-Hawaii had limited opportunities to score in the first half, with the ball on its side of the field for the majority of the opening 45 minutes of play. However, as the Cougars began to build a lead in the second half, the BYU-Hawaii offense starting pressing for more scoring chances. With his two saves, Cox denied the Seasiders on their only scoring opportunities.
Throughout the majority of the game, the Cougar midfielders dominated possession of the ball, pushing to give the forwards an opening to score. Despite taking 15 shots and seven corner kicks in the first half, Azusa Pacific went into halftime with a scoreless tie.
Then in the 52nd minute of play, Oktay Bulut crossed the ball in the box to Armbrust, who directed it into the goal. The goal represented the 34th consecutive game in which the Cougars have scored.
Azusa Pacific continued to attack aggressively, and just over 10 minutes later, the Cougars were knocking on the Seasiders' doorstep again. Grigg took a shot from within the 18-yard box that deflected off the chest of goalkeeper Trevor Lesueur, and Yang was there for the rebound, which he put in the net, giving Azusa Pacific a 2-0 lead.
Then in the 78th minute, the Cougars scored again when Keyran Kelly crossed a ball to Ackerman, who slotted it past the goalkeeper for Azusa Pacific's third score of the match. The Cougar defense continued to play well throughout the remainder of the contest as they held on for the shutout.
The Cougars’ four-game win streak is its longest since joining the Pacific West Conference this season. Azusa Pacific is now 7-2 in conference play, sitting third in the PacWest standings behind Grand Canyon and Notre Dame de Namur. Overall, Azusa Pacific holds a mark of 9-3-1.
With the loss, the Seasiders are now 3-5-1 on the season, including 2-5-1 in conference matchups. BYU-Hawaii is now in 10th place as the team heads back to Hawaii for the remainder of the season.
Azusa Pacific puts its season-long winning streak on the line as the team heads north to play Fresno Pacific on Thursday and Notre Dame de Namur Saturday before returning to host Point Loma on October 23.