FRESNO, Calif. -- In a matter of 33 minuts, sophomore Katie Rorabaugh went from scoring her first collegiate goal to picking up a hat trick as the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific raced out to a 5-goal lead before settling for a 5-1 road victory over Fresno Pacific in the Cougars’ Golden State Athletic Conference opener Wednesday night.
Fellow sophomore Theresa Broad got things going early for the Cougars, emerging from traffic just past the 18-minute mark of the game to give Azusa Pacific a 1-0 lead. Less than 20 minutes later, Rorabaugh tallied her first collegiate goal, and the Cougars went into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
Less than a minute into the second half, Rorabaugh added her second goal of the game. In the 67th minute, Rorabaugh completed the hat trick when she took a cross from Broad and deposited it high into the goal past the Fresno Pacific goalkeeper to give Azusa Pacific a 4-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Broad set up another Cougar score, as freshman Lynsey Domene fired away from the top of the penalty area for her second goal of the season. Domene has now scored or assisted goals in 3 of the past 4 games, and she became the fifth multiple-goal scorer for Azusa Pacific in the young 7-game 2007 campaign.
Broad’s 1-goal, 2-assist performance vaulted her into the team’s scoring lead with 9 points (3 goals, 3 assists), although the hat trick for Rorabaugh put her just a point back with 8 points on 3 goals and a pair of assists so far this season.
Ashley Sherr tallied the Sunbirds’ lone goal with just under 10 minutes remaining, knocking it in from the right side after a scramble for the ball following a Fresno Pacific free kick. Azusa Pacific goalkeeper Jill Colfer-Martinson made 5 saves prior to the late goal with the victory well in hand.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 1-0 in conference play, 5-1-1 overall, while Fresno Pacific drops to 0-1-1 in GSAC, 5-2-1 overall. The Cougars continue conference play with Saturday’s meeting with San Diego Christian, with kickoff at the Cougar Soccer Complex in Azusa scheduled for 3:30 p.m.