AZUSA, Calif. -- It seems like the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Azusa Pacific likes to keep its games close perhaps reeling the opponent into a false sense of security. However, the Cougars have been unable to elude a series of ties that have hampered their ability to open up a lead in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings.
Opponents beware that trend has come to a sudden halt. On Wednesday it was The Master’s and this afternoon it was San Diego Christian, a pair of teams that took the Cougars to overtime only to watch Azusa Pacific dig into its reserve tank and come up with a goal in extra time to snuff out the hopes of the underdogs.
On Wednesday, it was Megan Cardin who was the hero. Today it was Shannon Coe who scored in the 109th minute on an assist from Mari Kasamoto to lift the Cougars past the Hawks, 1-0, Saturday afternoon at the Azusa Square. The Cougars (12-0-3, 5-0-3) were 68 seconds away from another tie but instead ran their unbeaten streak to 15 games.
The Cougars had several quality chances during regulation but could not convert. During one sequence in particular Coe fired a shot but had the ball deflect off the post. Later the Cougars had a 1-on-1 opportunity against Hawks GK Lindsey Douglass but could not get find the back of the net.
Azusa Pacific dominated the run of play throughout the afternoon but the Hawks stayed close because of their physical play. San Diego Christian committed 28 fouls during the match. However, the Cougars outshot the Hawks 17-8 including 3-1 in the second overtime. The chilled afternoon crowd could finally let out a roar of approval when Coe created the only statistic that mattered with her 15th goal of the year.
Goalkeeper Jill Colfer played another superb game between the posts for the Cougars. She recorded 5 saves in blanking San Diego Christian.
Azusa Pacific enters the final week of the regular season with the goal of a GSAC championship still in its sights. The Cougars will travel to Fresno Pacific to battle the Sunbirds on Tuesday night before returning home for their finale against Concordia on Thursday.