OAKLAND, Calif.-- Just over a week ago the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team failed to put a single shot on goal in a 1-0 road loss to Cal Poly Pomona. On Thursday afternoon the Cougars unleashed some pent up aggression, scoring a season-high seven goals in a 7-0 shutout of Holy Names to open Pacific West Conference play.
Mayra Almazan paced Azusa Pacific (3-1, 1-0) with two goals in her first match since the team’s 2-1 season opening victory over Lee (Tenn.), and Katelyn Rogers, Lindsey Ryals, Alyx Williams, Haley Fisher, and Shannon Hardy each found the back of the net.
The seven goals tied the most for a Cougar team since 2009, and more than doubled Azusa Pacific’s goal total for the season.
“We played well tonight and had more of a veteran lineup to start the match. Offensively we played great. We scored on counters, in set pieces, and good possession plays. Whatever the situation was we took advantage, “ said head coach Jason Surrell. “The reality is that the progression from the start of the season is that the offense is something we continue to work on, and over the past eight days we’ve practiced it a lot.”
Ryals put the Cougars on the board in the 32nd minute before Rogers made it a two-goal game in the 44th. In the second half Azusa Pacific scored four goals in a 14-minute span, beginning with Williams’ strike off a Natalie Nick assist. Fisher then joined the party, finishing a Cassidy Burr cross to make it a 4-0 match in the 65th. Hardy continued the run off a connection with her sister Amanda Hardy in the 70th before Alamzan closed out the match with two goals over the final 15 minutes of play.
Amanda Hardy recorded two assists, while Almazan dished out another to finish with five points. Freshmen keepers Sarah Klinkenberg and Lindsey Namanny combined for the team’s first shutout of the season. Klinkenberg tallied six saves before Namanny made her first collegiate appearance in the 65th minute.
Azusa Pacific will face Academy of Art on Saturday before returning home next Thursday when it welcomes BYU-Hawai’i to the Cougar Soccer Complex.