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House of Horrors No More

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Published
October 7, 2008
By
Joe Reinsch
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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific has a long, forgettable history with Westmont’s Russ Carr Field, but the NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Cougars will gladly remember Tuesday’s 2-0 victory that extended their program-record Golden State Athletic Conference winning streak to 21 games. The win was just the third since 1992, and the fifth all-time, for Azusa Pacific at Westmont.

Junior forward Theresa Broad scored her 16th goal of the season, finding the back of the net against a conference opponent for the seventh consecutive game. Broad dribbled through the midfield and found herself with a one-on-one opportunity against Westmont goalkeeper Roxanne Love. Her shot from 8 yards out found the lower right-hand corner of the net, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead just over 15 minutes into the contest.

Broad helped set up Azusa Pacific’s second score, as well, finding senior forward Bridget Brotherton in the left corner of the box, where Brotherton connected from 10 yards out for her sixth goal of the season. The score gave the Cougars a 2-0 lead in the 63rd minute, and Azusa Pacific’s defense took care of the rest, surrendering just 3 total shots on the day. Junior goalkeeper Sammi Sheppard collected her fourth shutout of the season without making a save, as none of the Warrior shots were on target.

The site of Azusa Pacific’s last GSAC defeat was Russ Carr Field, when in 2006, the Cougars out-shot Westmont 23-8 but could only watch when Brianna Russo’s 25-yard prayer crossed the goal line with 39 seconds left to break a scoreless tie. It was Azusa Pacific’s only regular-season defeat, as the Cougars went on a 14-game winning streak that landed them in the 2006 NAIA title game, the first of back-to-back NAIA runner-up finishes.

The eventual 1998 NAIA championship team snapped a 5-year, 15-match winless streak with a 2-1 win at Westmont, and the 2004 Cougars also posted a 2-0 win over the Warriors at Russ Carr Field.

Azusa Pacific now owns its longest winning streak in the all-time series with Westmont, winning for the fifth straight time, out-scoring the Warriors 16-2 in the past 5 meetings. The Cougars improve to 3-0 in GSAC play, 8-1 overall, while Westmont drops to 2-2 GSAC, 3-6-1 overall.