Azusa Pacific 2
Point Loma Nazarene 1
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Look up “last-second heroics” in the dictionary, and today you’ll find Britany Nauchtrieb’s name right there.
The sophomore MF from Mission Viejo, Calif., collected a rebound and tucked it away in the net in literally the last second of the game to lift the NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific to a thrilling 2-1 victory over No. 13 Point Loma Nazarene.
The win assures Azusa Pacific of a spot in the NAIA Region II playoffs next week, although the Cougars would have advanced anyway with Notre Dame’s 2-0 win over CS Monterey Bay today. The loss is devastating for the Sea Lions, who, despite being ranked in the NAIA’s Top 15, will not advance to the postseason.
With the game tied 1-1 at the intermission, the spirited Sea Lions began to let it all hang out, pressing forward at every possible opportunity. Cougar GK Melissa Strother played perhaps the finest game of her 4-year career, collecting 8 saves, 7 in the second half, including a crucial save in the final minute that led to a Cougar counter attack that set up the game-winning score.
The Sea Lions jumped on the board first when Jackie Jewell scored her 14th goal of the season off an assist by Alisa Boon in the 22nd minute.
In a bit of foreshadowing, the Cougars generated a counter-attack in the final minute of the first half. Jessica Greene collected her own rebound off the crossbar and buried it into the net to knot the game at 1-1 with just 38 seconds remaining.
Both Nauchtrieb’s and Greene’s goals were their first goals of the season.
With the win, Azusa Pacific concludes the regular season at 12-2-3 overall, 7-2-1 GSAC, which is good for a second place finish. Point Loma Nazarene concludes its season at 14-3-2 overall, 4-3-2 GSAC.