Azusa, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific routed San Diego Christian with an 8-0 shutout victory Saturday afternoon at the Cougar Soccer Complex. The Cougars set a facility women’s soccer single-game scoring record with the win, and it was their largest margin of victory since a 9-0 home win over San Diego Christian on Oct. 27, 2001. The Cougar Soccer Complex was built in 2002, but the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team began playing home games at the facility in 2005.
Only 1 other game at the Cougar Soccer Complex has seen a team score 8 goals in 1 game, the 2-time defending NAIA runner-up Azusa Pacific men’s program, which posted an 8-0 win over Warner Pacific (Ore.) in September 2005.
San Diego Christian was able to hold the Cougars scoreless for 30 minutes to start the game until an Azusa Pacific breakaway in the 31st minute turned the tide. Junior forward Sarah Yoro began the breakaway attack, intercepting a pass near midfield and taking it to the left edge of the penalty box before crossing to Theresa Broad at the far post. With the sophomore forward's goal, the Cougars began distancing themselves over the rest of the match.
Less than 8 minutes later, Broad scored again, this time off a cross from freshman midfielder Lynsey Domene, who controlled the ball in a scramble off another of the Cougars' 11 corner kicks, including 9 in the first half alone.
Domene contributed to the offense again in the second half, when the she sent a blistering shot from the top of the penalty box to the lower left corner of the Hawks' goal, putting the Cougars up 3-0 in the 54th minute.
Yoro followed a minute and a half later with a goal off of a cross from sophomore Katie Rorabaugh and then scored again on a 63rd-minute penalty kick.
The Cougars' typical lineup was absent of a handful of key players due to injuries, but head coach Jason Surrell saw it more as an opportunity instead of a setback.
"I still feel like we have great players who can get the job done, even if some of our starters are out," Surrell said. " Sarah, Theresa, and Katie really stepped up."
Yoro and Broad weren't the only players with multi-goal performances. Freshman midfielder Jennie Cress made her mark in the second half of the game with a pair of goals, the second one finding the back of the net with one-tenth of a second remaining on the clock. Her two goals, along with sophomore forward Brittany Walker's goal with 31 seconds remaining, wrapped up the Cougars’ 6-goal second-half outburst.
"I was really impressed with the group that came off the bench today," Surrell said. "I think today was one of their better performances. It is good to see some of the younger freshman come off in the second half and really step up for us as well."
Despite the score, Saturday's game was a test for the Cougars on multiple levels. Whether it was battling injuries or just boosting themselves up for a tough GSAC schedule, the mentality of the team was the focus.
"This season's unfortunately been full of injuries, but I don't think we have any holes on our team," Yoro said. "Everyone's been able to fill in the gaps. The energy that we come out with is uplifting and it feels good to know that we're strong now and we'll be that much stronger when our usual starters come back."
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 6-1-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Their next GSAC challenge is against Westmont, which is 4-4 on the season, 1-1 in the GSAC. The game will be at the Cougar Soccer Complex on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m.