Cal State L.A. 0
Azusa, Calif. – Take the first 45 minutes of tonight’s game, and Azusa Pacific looks like a lost group. Take the second 45 minutes, and Azusa Pacific looks like a contender for the NAIA title.
After a scoreless first half, the Cougars seemingly flipped on the switch and assaulted the Cal State L.A. net, keeping the ball in their half the entire 45 minutes and scoring 3 second-half goals for a 3-0 nonconference win over the Golden Eagles in the Cougars’ season home opener.
“We settled down in the second half and just decided to play,” said Azusa Pacific head coach Jason Surrell. “We played quicker, sorted out the midfield and moved the ball around much quicker. That made all the difference in the world.”
It did make all the difference, but it was the Golden Eagles that put the Cougars on the board first with an own goal in the 47th minute.
Junior All-American Erin Arbizu collected the ball on the left side and sent a bender towards the net. The ball deflected off the crossbar and fell at the feet of a Golden Eagle defender racing to get back, who then accidentally re-directed it into the net.
Freshman Ellen Clark gave the Cougars an insurance goal in the 65th minute when took a through ball from Erin Arbizu just inside the 18-yard box and blasted it over the outstretched Cal State L.A. keeper Jessica Herrera for her second goal in as many games.
Eight minutes later, Heidi Hofmann completed the Cougars’ onslaught when she pelted a laser from nearly 35 yards out that slid underneath the cross bar.
Senior All-American GK Melissa Strother needed to make just 1 save to record the Cougars’ third consecutive shutout. Strother and sophomore Tiffany Mitchell have yet to allow a goal in 290 minutes of action this year.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 2-0-1. Cal State L.A. drops to 0-2.