CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Freshman forward Laura Feehs scored in the 86th minute to lift the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific to a 2-1 win over No. 3-ranked Lee (Tenn.), the 2-time defending NAIA champions, at the Lee (Tenn.) Lady Flames Classic.
Azusa Pacific had a 17-13 advantage in total shots, and the Cougars’ lone corner kick was headed into goal by senior midfielder Kelsey Walker in the 16th minute for a 1-0 lead. Lee answered with Ashley Aragona’s 39th-minute score, and the 1-1 halftime score held up until Feehs’ game-winner late in the half despite a combined 19 second-half shots between the teams.
The Cougars opened the Classic Thursday with a 2-1 win over No. 10-ranked William Carey (Miss.), and Saturday’s win completed Azusa Pacific’s opportunity to avenge 2 of its 3 regular-season defeats from the 2009 season. The Cougars’ only remaining unavenged 2009 defeat is a 2-1 overtime loss to Golden State Athletic Conference rival Westmont. Azusa Pacific visits the Warriors’ brand-new Thorrington Field on Wednesday, Oct. 20, the eighth of 10 games on the Cougars’ GSAC slate.
Junior midfielder Brittany Flanagan assisted both Azusa Pacific goals, and sophomore forward Natalie Sun was credited with the second assist on the game-winner. Sun put 3 of her team-high 6 shots on goal, while Lee’s leading shooter Aragona put just 1 of her match-high 8 shots on goal with her late first-half score. Junior goalkeeper Alexa Douglas made a pair of second-half saves to preserve the victory, although a pair of Lee’s second-half shots went off the crossbar.
An overflow crowd estimated at more than 1,500 attended Saturday’s showcase event of the Lady Flames Classic, which raised funds and community awareness as part of Lee’s Kickin’ It For Cancer Awareness Week.
The non-conference portion of the Cougars’ schedule is now complete, with Azusa Pacific entering the 10-game Golden State Athletic Conference season with a 5-0-1 overall record. The Cougars host their third consecutive top-10 foe when No. 9 Vanguard visits the Cougar Soccer Complex in the GSAC opener for both teams on Saturday, Sept. 25.