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Nothing Settled in Santa Barbara

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September 30, 2006
Gary Pine
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – It matters little who is ranked higher, who is playing better, who is supposed to win. In this rivalry, nothing really matters – before the teams take the field.

Azusa Pacific and Westmont, a pair of NAIA Top 25-ranked teams, played to a scoreless tie before an overflow crowd at Carr Field amongst the hills above Montecito, Calif.

The Cougars, who are ranked No. 3 in the nation and looking for a repeat trip to the NAIA championship game, appeared to have the advantage in overall play, producing 23 shots, including 9 on goal, but it was all to no avail since they were unable to penetrate Westmont’s senior keeper Logan Frank for 110 minutes. Logan becomes only the third keeper in the past 3 years to stonewall Azusa Pacific for entire game.

Azusa Pacific’s font-line attack of Sven Simon and Steven Lenhart combined for more shots on goal (7) then the entire Westmont team, but time and again, Logan turned away all chances to register his third shutout of the season and the 16th of his career.

Westmont, ranked No. 20, was coming off a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss at No. 16 Concordia in Tuesday’s GSAC opener and could not afford to drop its first 2 games in the highly competitive GSAC. The Warriors rose to the occasion to snap a 2-game losing streak to the Cougars.

While Logan was under the gun much of the game, Cougar freshman keeper Tyler Stromberg, making the first GSAC start of his young career, was at least equal to the task, though under considerably less duress, blocking 5 Warrior shots on goal to record his second shutout in as many games played as a Cougar.

The game was to be the rubber match between the Wolf brothers, Dave, head coach at Westmont and Phil, Azusa Pacific’s head coach. The 2 brothers had split 6 previous meetings and today’s tie only added to the equality of the match-up.

With the tie Azusa Pacific moves to 6-1-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the GSAC. Westmont is now 5-4-1 overall and 0-1-1 in the GSAC.