SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Soccer is the most unforgiving of all sports. It’s the only game where you can certainly out-play your opponent and still not be the victor. Such was the case today.
Brianna Russo’s goal with just 39 seconds left in regulation lifted the NAIA’s No. 8-ranked Westmont to a stunning 1-0 upset of No. 2 Azusa Pacific. As the clock wound down in preparation for overtime, Russo took one last chance and lined a shot from 25 yards out that found the back of the net. It was Russo’s second goal of the season and it came on only the fourth shot on goal for the Warriors.
For 89 minutes Azusa Pacific controlled play, but the Cougars, who in 7 games this year had already scored more goals than they did in the final 14 games of last year, reverted to their old ways and had a difficult time finishing play around the net. The Cougars had 23 shots, 10 of which were on goal, but sophomore Ashley Werner denied the Cougars on every chance to post her fourth shutout in 10 games this year.
Statistically, the Cougars were all over Westmont in both halves, out-shooting the Warriors by 9 in the first half and 6 in the second half. Azusa Pacific had 3 corner kicks in each half to Westmont’s 1 for the game. However, Werner was a wall, allowing Westmont the opportunity to steal the game.
Azusa Pacific suffers its first loss of the season and falls to 7-1 overall, 1-1 in the GSAC. Westmont improves to 5-3 overall, 1-1 in the GSAC.