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Not On Point

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Photo by Holly Magnuson
Brittany Flanagan with one of her two shots on the day.

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Published
October 1, 2011
By
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- Heading into today’s match, the history books showed that Point Loma Nazarene had never beaten Azusa Pacific in women’s soccer , as the Cougars held a 10-0-3 record against the Sea Lions since the teams began playing back in 1999. What the book doesn’t say is that Point Loma Nazarene is responsible for two of the toughest defeats in Azusa Pacific history.

In 2009 the Sea Lions advanced past the Cougars on penalty kicks after the squads battled to a 0-0 tie in the NAIA semifinals; ending the team’s bid for a national title with three PKs. Earlier that season Point Loma Nazarene won the GSAC tournament championship after a 1-1 tie couldn’t be resolved. The Sea Lions hit three PKs to the Cougars’ one.

But after today there will be no need for technicalities as NAIA No. 10-ranked Point Loma Nazarene finally got its first win over the Cougars, scoring once while shutting down the Azusa Pacific attack to improve to 9-0-1 on the season. The NAIA's top-ranked Azusa Pacific, which usually creates plenty of opportunities (averaging 18.4 shots per game entering today), recorded just eight shots (one on goal) in the loss.

Both teams got off to a slow start, as the Cougars (4-1-1) were playing their first match since Sept. 7. There were only three shot attempts in the first half as neither team could penetrate the defense.

The second half was much of the same until Natalie Sun nearly broke the scoreless tie on an indirect free after being fouled. Positioned on right side above the box the junior forward bent it around a three-woman line and sent the ball just one yard in from the near post. But before her shot could find the back of the net Point Loma Nazarene’s keeper Tiffany Kracy dove in for her only save of the match.

The teams would then exchange possessions until the 79th minute when the Sea Lions got on the board. Krista Gergory received a pass in the center of the box from Katie Pedlowe, and quickly slotted it past a diving Michelle Wieland. The goal would prove to be the difference maker as the Cougars couldn’t get a good look form there out.

The loss drops Azusa Pacific to 4-1-1, and 0-1 in GSAC play.