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Upended at the Square

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October 24, 2005
Jason Cannon

AZUSA, Calif. -- Jeff Clark scored on a breakaway in the 61st minute to lift Concordia past the NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific, 1-0, Monday afternoon at the Azusa Square.

The Cougars had their chances in the game as they peppered Concordia GK Mike Borst with 8 shots on goal but he them away each time.

Azusa Pacific had a great opportunity in the second half. Brandon Stirm delivered a corner kick that Steven Lenhart rose above the defenders and headed just north of the crossbar.

A similar header by Sven Simon went just high in the first half as well.

Azusa Pacific controlled much of the first half but just couldn’t find a way to score. It took 12 shots in the opening 45 minutes but was unable to convert. Meanwhile, the back 4 did not allow the Eagles to get any quality chances of their own against GK Morgan Cathey.

That all changed as the game entered its 61st minute. Clark, the Eagles leading goal scorer, got free on a breakaway and beat Cathey 1-on-1 for what turned out to be the only score of the match. It was Clark's team-leading 13th goal of the year.

"They played the perfect game against us," said head coach Phil Wolf. "They held us and we didn't take our chances. They had one quick kick over the top and off you go."

The upset puts an interesting spin on the race for the Golden State Athletic Conference championship. The Cougars and Fresno Pacific had been tied atop the league at 7-1 with Concordia and Point Loma Nazarene 1 game back. However, the Cougars and Eagles are now both 7-2 with the Sunbirds alone in first place having not played today.

It also raises the already high stakes of Thursday night’s match in Fresno, if they could have gotten any higher. The Cougars and Sunbirds will kickoff at 7 p.m. It will be the final regular season game for Azusa Pacific.