AZUSA, Calif. -- Sophomore forward Theresa Broad’s goal midway through the first half seemingly deflated a defensive-minded Westmont squad, and the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific added a pair of second-half goals to post a 3-0 victory over the Warriors in the heat of surprisingly warm fall afternoon Tuesday at the Cougar Soccer Complex.
The Cougars were able to avoid a repeat of last year’s regular-season meeting, when Westmont scored in the 90th minute to post a 1-0 victory, handing Azusa Pacific its only defeat of the 2006 regular season and providing the only blemish on the Cougars’ GSAC title campaign.
“We made sure to let all the new players know that Westmont had beaten us last year,” said Broad. “We didn’t want to give them that pleasure again, especially not at home. That was definitely in the back of our minds.”
In the 28th minute, sophomore defender Katie Rorabaugh found Broad on a run into the right side of the penalty box. Broad dribbled around a Westmont defender, then beat goalkeeper Roxanne Love to the left to break the scoreless tie.
Azusa Pacific sent in a trio of substitutes at forward throughout the first half, sending fresh attackers at the Westmont defense. The Cougars fired off 11 first-half shots to Westmont’s 2 and finished the game with a 21-8 shots advantage.
“Both teams looked tired early, even in the first half,” said Cougar head coach Jason Surrell. “It was such a hot day, but I feel like we’ve got good depth. I felt like we were a little tired in the first half, so I thought, ‘Let’s get some of these other players some opportunities to do well.’ ”
Broad added the first of Azusa Pacific’s 2 second-half scores just over 20 minutes into the period when senior midfielder Sara Odenthal’s shot from the left side bounced across the penalty box to Broad along the right side. Broad beat Love to the right from 10 yards out for an unassisted goal to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead in the 67th minute.
Freshman midfielder Lynsey Domene wrapped up the scoring with an insurance goal with just over 5 minutes remaining in the game. Junior defender Grace Eleyae played through to the right side to Domene, who struck a line drive to the far post for the score.
“Scoring 3 goals against anybody is a good sign, and Westmont is a good team,” said Surrell. “We’re happy with the result, but there are things as a team we want to get better at. We just have to keep moving forward, keep working on things and hopefully just get people healthy.”
Broad and Domene combined to take 13 of Azusa Pacific’s 21 shots, and senior goalkeeper Jill Colfer-Martinson made 1 save of an Amy Lawson second-half shot to register her Cougar career shutouts record to 39. Colfer-Martinson and the Cougar defense have shut out 6 straight opponents at home.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 7-1-1 on the season, 3-0 in GSAC play, and the Cougars now have a 29-game home unbeaten streak. Westmont drops to 5-5 overall, 2-2 in GSAC play. Azusa Pacific continues GSAC play on Saturday, Oct. 6, when the Cougars host California Baptist at 3:30 p.m.