AZUSA, Calif. -- If anyone needed a reminder about just how tough the Golden State Athletic Conference is consider that Azusa Pacific beat Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Lee (Tenn.), 2 top-5 teams, on consecutive days last weekend.
But this week the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Azusa Pacific ran into both of its fiercest rivals and came away with a pair of ties.
The first, a 1-1 final against Biola, was followed by today's outcome against Westmont, the No. 11 ranked team in the country.
While Azusa Pacific fought hard for 110 minutes, in the end, it could not pick up a conference win as the game ended in a tie, 0-0. While they still earn a point toward their goal of a conference championship they would prefer to be celebrating victories.
Statistically, the Cougars had numerous advantages. They took 20 shots to 13 for the Warriors and had 5 more corners, including 2 in the final overtime period alone.
Azusa Pacific had perhaps had its best scoring chance occur as the final minute of regulation as the clock ran down.
With just under 30 seconds remaining, Jolie Nitta broke into open space and unleashed a shot from a shade over 20 yards out. Westmont keeper Emalia Cornwell went up in vain in hopes of deflecting it. However, the ball hit the crossbar and Nitta was turned away.
The Cougars really put the pressure on in the second overtime by taking 4 shots.
Unfortunately, none found the back of the net as Cornwell turned in a solid performance with 10 saves.
Jill Colfer was solid in goal for the Cougars as she recorded 5 saves.
“I just don’t see the same energy that I saw in Kentucky,” said head coach Jason Surrell. “We had our chances today but couldn’t get anything to go in.”
It is the first time since 1996 that Azusa Pacific has tied twice in conference play.
The Cougars will be looking to break their current streak as they seek their first conference win when they host California Baptist on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m.