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Cougars Open GSAC Defense in Big Way

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October 1, 2002
Micah McDaniel
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AZUSA, Calif. -- It took Azusa Pacific just 31 seconds to send a message to the rest of the GSAC that it will not let go of its GSAC crown without a fight.

Sophomore Erin Arbizu scored just 31 seconds into the match igniting the defending GSAC champion Cougars, ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, to a 6-0 win over California Baptist in the conference opener for both teams.

Heather Hannemann continued her torrid pace, scoring 2 more goals and assisting on 2 others.

The Cougars dominated the Lancers, who were ranked No. 20 in the NAIA's preseason poll, from the outset. They controlled the run of play the entire day and outshot the Lancers, 17-6, including a 9-1 mark in the opening half. The Lancers never threatened Cougar goalkeepers Melissa Strother and Tiffany Mitchell.

Hannemann, who assisted on Arbizu's first tally, scored the first of her 2 goals to put the Cougars up 2-0 in the 24th minute. Sophomore Marilyn Montgomery scored her first goal of the season just 8 minutes later to round out the first half scoring and put the game out of reach in the first 45 minutes.

Freshmen Jolie Nitta and Britany Nauchtrieb collected their first collegiate points assisting on Hannemann's and Montgomery's goal, respectively.

Arbizu opened the second half with her second goal of the game in the 53rd minute on another Hannemann assist. Forty-nine seconds later, she returned the favor to Hannemann as the 2 hooked up for the third time, this time Arbizu fed Hannemann.

Freshman Julie Fletcher then scored her first collegiate goal in the final 2:30 to round out the scoring. Freshman Stephanie Hannemann recorded the assist.

With the win, the Cougars improve to 4-1 on the season, 1-0 in the GSAC. They will be in action again Saturday night when they host Vanguard in a GSAC doubleheader with the men at 5 p.m.