FRESNO, Calif. -- A huge development occurred Tuesday in Azusa Pacific’s pursuit of a Golden State Athletic Conference title.
While the No. 1-ranked Cougars thrashed Fresno Pacific, 3-0, Point Loma Nazarene and Biola played to a scoreless tie leaving Azusa Pacific atop the GSAC in sole possession of first place.
The Cougars got first half goals from Stephanie Hannemann and Bridget Brotherton to lead 2-0 and then put the clamps on the Sunbirds defensively. Megan Cardin added the final goal on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.
Hannemann’s goal in the 31st minute was her first of the season. The senior, who began the season bothered by a foot injury, is healthy again and providing the Cougars with a big lift with her play off the bench.
The same can be said about Brotherton whose header in the 36th minute off a double assist from teammates Shannon Coe and Jolie Nitta made it 2-0. It was the fifth tally of the season for the freshman.
"We have been creating chances and we took advantage of that tonight. We are definitely encouraged as coaches by it," said head coach Jason Surrell.
The Cougars controlled play throughout the evening taking 9 shots on goal to 5 for the Sunbirds.
The defense continued to suffocate the opponent as goalkeeper Jill Colfer recorded her fourth consecutive shutout with 5 saves. She lowered her goals against average to a miniscule 0.35 easily the lowest mark in the GSAC.
The Cougars (13-0-3, 6-0-3) have now earned 21 points in conference play based on the current system of earning 3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie. Point Loma Nazarene, which began the night ahead of Azusa Pacific, has 20 points.
Azusa Pacific will conclude the regular season on Thursday afternoon when it hosts Concordia in a match slated to begin at 3 p.m. at the Azusa Square.