SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Having its game against The Master’s delayed a day because of the bad weather didn’t affect the NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific in the slightest.
The Cougars blanked The Master’s, 2-0, in winning for the fourth consecutive time as they improved to 13-2 overall and 6-1 in the GSAC.
After a scoreless first half, freshman forward Chris Batdorf got Azusa Pacific on the board first when he netted a goal after a shot by Brandon Stirm ricocheted off the post. The goal in the 47th minute was the fourth of the season for Batdorf.
“Chris is taking advantage of his opportunities,” said head coach Phil Wolf. “He is a great complement to Sven because he can run.”
Shortly thereafter a precarious sequence for Azusa Pacific ensued. In the 51st minute Beau Hayden drew a red card for a hand ball on a shot that had already gotten past goalkeeper Morgan Cathey. The Mustangs were awarded a penalty kick that was promptly missed.
The momentum quickly shifted back to the Cougars moments later in the 52nd minute when Sven Simon scored a beautiful goal to extend Azusa Pacific’s lead to 2-0. Simon’s arched a shot from 15 yards out that found a small crevice between the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Nathan Foreman and the crossbar. It was Simon’s sixth goal of the year.
“That was the turning point of the game right there,” said Wolf. “It was a huge win for us and a solid performance by our guys.”
Cathey recorded his fifth shutout of the season as he recorded 4 saves. The Master’s kept Cathey busy in the second half as it took 9 shots, including 4 on goal. The Mustangs outshot the Cougars 10-6 for the game.
Azusa Pacific now turns its attention toward San Diego Christian. The Cougars host the Hawks on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Azusa Square beginning at 1 p.m.