COSTA MESA, Calif.-- With the threat of the team’s third loss of the season looming, freshman midfielder Logan Chan gathered a deflected pass 20 yards outside of the goal, and knocked in her first score of the season; breaking a 0-0 stalemate in the 99th minute to keep the Cougars bid for their 11th GSAC championship alive with an overtime win over Vanguard.
“It was a battle between two good defenses,” said Head Coach Jason Surrell. “Right now we’ll just let the cards fall where they will. Conference championship or no conference championship we’re just trying to improve as a group.”
The defense, which has been stout all season, was strong again as Michelle Wieland posted her fifth shutout, stopping four Lion shots, including one in overtime.
In the first half the NAIA's No. 5 Cougars (8-2-1) got off only two shots, compared to Vanguard’s three. But Wieland kept the team in it with two saves in the opening 45 minutes.
In the second half Natalie Sun nearly gave the Cougars a lead, but her shot was saved by Vanguard’s Lauren Terry. A few possessions later Emily Wood’s would-be game winner was again stopped by Turner as Azusa Pacific shot five times in the half, but couldn’t find the back of the net; sending the Cougars to their second straight overtime and fourth of the season.
After a few missed shots by the Cougars, Chan sealed the deal in the 99th when she took a deflection right-side, 20 yards out and shot it yards out far-side for the win.
“It was a great shot...good for her and good for the team,” said Surrell.
The Lions narrowly outshot the Cougars 10-9, but both squads put four on frame. The Lions did, however, hold an advantage in an area that Azusa Pacific typically dominates as they earned five corner kicks compared to two for the Cougars. On the season Azusa Pacific has tallied 77 corners, while allowing just 23.
The Cougars, who improved to 23-2-2 all-time against Vanguard, were whistled offside four times in the match, and shot a season-low nine times.