AZUSA, Calif.-- Alyx Williams may have entered Saturday’s match without a goal on the stat sheet in 2012, but she is no stranger to game-winners. The sophomore, who led Chico State with four of them as a freshman, picked a good time to score her first goal for Azusa Pacific, knocking in the eventual winner in the first half to propel the Cougars to a shutout victory over BYU-Hawaii.
Azusa Pacific controlled possession of the match, giving up just six just shots as senior keeper Michelle Wieland tallied three saves to record her fifth shutout of the season, and 31st in her impressive career. The clean sheet was the team’s fourth in the last five matches.
The Cougars (8-5. 7-2) got off to an early start, notching seven of the first nine shots of the match. Shannon Righetti opened with a pair of attempts, but had each of her looks blocked. Haley Fisher and Natalie Nick then had their two shots saved by Megan McCain, who recorded five saves in the contest. Minutes later Natalie Sun sent two shots over the bar before Logan Chan had her first shot saved.
Then in the 37th minute the Cougars broke through when Williams connected on Amanda Hardy’s cross from the left side, and buried it into the net from the top of the box. Azusa Pacific went into the half with a 1-0 advantage on a 9-3 edge in shots over BYU-Hawaii (6-4-1, 4-3-1).
In the second half the stingy Azusa Pacific defense held the Seasiders to three shots, with the last one coming in the 77th minute as the Cougars won their fifth straight match.
The win puts Azusa Pacific into sole possession of third place in the Pacific West Standings, and just a half-game out of first place behind Point Loma (7-1-1) and California Baptist (7-1). Next week Azusa Pacific takes a two-match road trip to Fresno Pacific and Notre Dame de Namur before closing out its home season with games against Point Loma and Dixie State on Oct. 23 and 27.