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Vikings Conquer Cougars

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Photo by Holly Magnuson

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Published
September 8, 2012
By
Chris Baker
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BELLINGHAM, Wash.-- The Pacific Northwest hasn’t been kind to Azusa Pacific soccer teams. On Thursday the women’s soccer team lost its second match of the season, falling to Seattle Pacific 1-0, before the men suffered their biggest loss in over two decades, losing to Simon Fraser (B.C.) by a score of 6-1 on Friday night. Today that unfriendly trend continued as the women lost their third match of the year, falling 2-0 to Western Washington to drop 1-3 on the young season.

The Vikings (3-1) controlled possession for most of the match, but didn’t convert any of their chances until the 73rd minute when Jessica Bertucci broke the 0-0 tie, scoring from 16 yards out off a cutback. Western Washington then got a security goal in the 82nd minute when Catherine Miles had her 20 yard shot deflect past senior keeper Michelle Wieland.

Wieland, who finished with five saves, was busy all day as the Vikings outshot Azusa Pacific 18-4. Azusa Pacific didn’t put a single shot on frame in the match, helping Western Washington secure its third consecutive clean sheet. The Cougars got shots from Natalie Sun, Molly Lavin, Kendra Trifonovitch, and Heidi Witschi, but suffered their second straight shutout. The last time Azusa Pacific was shutout in back-to-back matches was in October of 2003, when the Cougars were held scoreless against Biola and Westmont in consecutive weeks.

The loss drops Azusa Pacific to 1-3 on the season, marking their worst start (record-wise) in over 15 years. The last time the Cougars were 1-3 was in 1995, when they lost seven of their first eight matches. However, in that season they played four NCAA Div. I opponents and two Div. II teams in that stretch. All three of the team’s losses this year have been against traditionally strong Div. II programs.

The Cougars next match will be on Thursday when they open up their Pacific West schedule on the road against Academy of Art University at 1 p.m.