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AZUSA, Calif.-- The Cougars scored twice in the second half, and held BYU-Hawaii to just three shots as the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team posted a 3-0 shutout on Thursday night. Haley Williamson got the Cougars on the board in the first half, and Alyx Williams, and Logan Chan each found the back of the net in the second to help lift Azusa Pacific to its second Pacific West Conference shutout in three matches.
“I thought we started a little slow in the first 15-20 minutes as we were feeling each other out. I felt when Alyx, Haley Fisher, Cassidy Burr, and Katelyn Rogers came in it really changed the game for us. Cassidy’s defensive pressure was great tonight, and that’s probably the best game Fisher’s played this season. They all helped get us started,” said head coach Jason Surrell.
With BYU-Hawaii (1-2-1, 0-1) controlling the early portion of the match the Cougars made a change in the 26th, and 10 minutes later it turned into a 1-0 Azusa Pacific lead when Williamson cleaned up a deflection in the box and placed it right post from 15 yards out. From that point on the Cougars (4-1-1, 2-0-1) governed the match, holding the Seasiders to just three shots (none on goal) in freshman GK Sarah Klinkenberg’s first full shutout of the season.
BYU-Hawaii didn’t get its first shot off until midway through the second half as Cougars made their home in the Seasider half. Azusa Pacific tallied 19 shots, placing 10 on target while generating 10 corner kicks.
Fisher, a sophomore forward from Colorado, led the Cougar charge all night, assisting on Williams’ 53rd minute goal after beating a pair of defenders right of the box. She also created a chance in the first half when she countered down the right side prior to finding Rogers for a one-v-one deep in the box. BYU-Hawaii’s Megan McCain, however, stopped the goal in its tracks for one of her seven saves on the night. Fisher also made a run for her own goal late in the first, but her shot was stopped by McCain with 2:30 to play in the opening frame.
“Fisher has the ability to do a lot on the field for us, and that’s something we’ve been working with her on, she just has to believe it. She made a few really nice plays for us tonight. She can be real dangerous,” said Surrell.
Azusa Pacific went ahead 3-0 on Chan’s first goal of the season. The junior defender found an opening on the right side of the box, where Haley Arft found her on a cross. Chan then settled it, and drilled it far post, jetting it past the outstretched arms of McCain in the 66th minute to keep the Seasiders at bay.
The Cougar defense limited BYU-Hawaii’s chances all night, even in the midst of the road team’s opening onslaught. Despite the fact that the Seasiders were in the Cougar half more often than not through the first 20 minutes, the Cougar back line didn’t surrender a shot. BYU-Hawaii was able to get off three harmless chances as Azusa Pacific nabbed its second PacWest win of the year.
“I thought the back line was solid again tonight. We rely on Allie Stone, Danielle Ross, and Natalie Nick back there and we can always count on them to get it done like they did tonight. And then we had Williamson, who I thought did a great job of snuffing their counter, and played really good defense tonight in the midfield,” said Surrell.
In the Cougars’ three PacWest matches they’ve allowed an average of 6.2 shots per game while recording a 0.31 goal-against-average. Azusa Pacific will have a chance to win its third conference game of the season on Monday night when it welcomes Hawai’i Pacific for a 5:30 p.m. tilt at the Cougar Soccer Complex.