AZUSA, Calif. -- After Wednesday's scoreless draw with Cal Baptist in the GSAC opener, Azusa Pacific was looking for something, anything to generate any sort of momentum. The Cougars got what they were looking for from an unexpected source as they upended Vanguard, 4-1, Saturday in Azusa.
Senior All-GSAC MF David Alapag, a defensive midfielder scored his first career goal in the 16th minute with a lightning strike to ignite the Cougars' offense.
John Kightlinger low, driving ball to the top of the 18-yard box on a corner kick. Alapag stepped up to the loose ball and sent an untouched, one-time lazer into the lower right corner of the net for his first career tally.
"We have been practicing that play over the past week where Kight sends a low driver to the top of the box," said Alapag. "I've been hitting those ever since I've been here. To finally get one to go in feels awesome."
Alapag indeed kickstarted the offense, which generated 24 shots on the night, 9 of them on goal.
In the final minutes of the first half, junior speedster Michael Dwinell took a long pass from Jeff Haughey and promptly chipped it over Vanguard GK Christopher Swift and into the net to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
Six minutes into the second half, senior All-GSAC Jordan Jones scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead. Jones carried the ball nearly 25 yards into the left side of the box and buried the ball to the far post and into the low right netting.
Vanguard got on the board 2 minutes later when Matt Hess collected a failed clearing attempt by the Cougar defense and slid the ball past a diving Morgan Cathey.
Freshman Ian Leibbrandt scored his third goal of the year, completing a brilliant long run down the left sideline. Jason Van Broekhuizen sent a long through ball to Leibbrandt on the left side, and Leibbrandt sent the ball into the lower right corner of the net.
"Hopefully, this is a picture of what will continue," said Azusa Pacific head coach Phil Wolf. "We sorted things out tonight, and hopefully, we can build on that. When we pass well, we are a good team. When we pass poorly, we are a bad team."
With the win, the Cougars improve to 4-3-3 overall, 1-0-1 GSAC. Vanguard drops to 4-8, 0-2. The Cougars are in action in Tuesday night when they host Biola at 7 p.m.