AZUSA, Calif. -- Sophomore Theresa Broad’s 67th-minute goal snapped a scoreless tie, and the goal held up in the NAIA’s top-ranked Azusa Pacific’s 1-0 win over Cal State San Marcos Friday afternoon at the Cougar Soccer Complex.
For 60 minutes, Cal State San Marcos was nearly flawless in executing a game plan that limited Azusa Pacific’s scoring opportunities, holding the Cougars to just 3 first-half shots and only a single shot in the first 15 minutes of the second half.
However, a 3-minute stretch midway through the second half seemed to ignite Azusa Pacific, starting with back-to-back yellow cards issued to junior forward Bridget Brotherton for an aggressive header and senior midfielder Sara Odenthal for a tackle from behind.
The cautions came less than 30 seconds apart, and after Cal State San Marcos sent just its third shot of the game over the goal, the Cougars countered with an aggressive attack that peppered 4 shots towards the goal in a 75-second stretch. Broad got free on a breakaway up the right side and beat Cal State San Marcos goalkeeper Jane Drury to the right, but her shot slammed off the near post and remained in play. Freshman Lynsey Domene followed just 11 seconds later with a low shot that a diving Drury knocked away for an Azusa Pacific corner kick.
Another Brotherton header attempt, her third shot of the half, went wide of the goal, but she regained possession less than 30 seconds later, finding Broad behind the Cal State San Marcos defense for a 1-v-1 chance against Drury. Broad touched the ball to the left, scooting past a diving Drury, then buried the empty-net opportunity for the game’s lone goal.
Perhaps Azusa Pacific’s best scoring chance prior to Broad’s second-half success started with a free kick taken by Brotherton in the 14th minute from 25 yards out. Her bending shot to the near post was tipped up into the crossbar by Drury, and Lauren Lane was whistled offside as she buried the rebound into the back of the net, leaving the game scoreless early on.
Drury finished with 4 saves, but Jill Colfer-Martinson made a pair of second-half saves to preserve her 36th career shutout, tying the Azusa Pacific career shutout record set by Melissa Strother from 2000-03. Colfer-Martinson faced only 6 shots from a Cal State San Marcos squad with an obvious defensive mindset.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 2-0-1 and extends its home unbeaten streak to 26 games, while Cal State San Marcos drops to 1-3-1 on the season. The Cougars return to action with an 11 a.m. meeting Saturday against Graceland (Iowa), a 17-1-1 squad a year ago that narrowly missed participating in the 2006 NAIA Tournament after watching its region’s automatic bid go to a McKendree (Ill.) team that pulled off a shootout victory over the Yellowjackets in the NAIA Region V championship.