Azusa Pacific 0
LA MIRADA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Azusa Pacific knew it was only a matter of time. These days it’s next to impossible to run the table and make it through an entire season unbeaten.
The Cougars made it through 13 games unscathed, but the 14th proved too much. On an atypical, sweltering, August-like afternoon, Biola ended 7 years of frustration with a late goal to get a 1-0 win over the Cougars.
The loss is the Cougars’ first of the season, and their first to Biola since 1996, a streak of 7 straight wins. The Cougars were one of just 2 unbeaten teams remaining in the NAIA, joining William Jewell (Mo.). Ironically, the last time a team made through the entire season without a loss was Azusa Pacific when it won the 1998 NAIA title.
Playing sluggishly for nearly 90 minutes, the Cougars were a half step slower than the Eagles, who gave a spirited effort. However, aside from hitting a couple of crossbars, neither team could generate much offense.
But in the 74th minute, Biola’s Lyndsay Walsh broke through. Walsh received a pass on the right side, slithered her way past 2 Cougar defenders, and moved into the box to create a one-on-one with Cougar GK Melissa Strother. Walsh then struck the ball just over Strother’s right shoulder and into the net.
The Cougars attempted to press forward looking for the equalizer. However, Biola maintained control, allowing just 1 Cougar shot in the final 15 minutes, and the Eagles survived with the upset win.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 10-1-3 overall, 5-1-1 GSAC. Biola improves to 10-3-1, 4-2-1.
Azusa Pacific has little time to recover as its hosts No. 5-ranked Westmont Saturday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. on the Azusa Square Field.