FRESNO, Calif.-- After being shutout in its first loss of the season, the NAIA’s third-ranked Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team came out strong on the road at Fresno Pacific, registering two goals off corner kicks in the first 12 minutes to take an early lead before posting a 3-0 shutout for its fifth win of the season.
The win was especially nice since the team was coming off a three-plus week layoff and a disappointing loss over the weekend.
"It was huge for us. After the layoff we had it was [important] for us to create some momentum," said Head Coach Jason Surrell. "The girls came out and wanted to prove something. The loss [on Saturday] wasn't good, but it certainly motivated them."
And the Cougars certainly proved something from the opening.
Danielle Ross scored her first goal of the season in the third minute off a corner by Natalie Nick, while Lynsey Browne’s first score in 2011 came off a redirection on another corner from Nick. Natalie Sun added to the season high total, finding the back of the net on a penalty kick for her second score of the year.
The Cougars (5-1-1) had six corner-kicks in the opening half, and outshot the Sunbirds 13-1, putting five on goal.
The second half was a little bit more even as the Sunbirds recorded five shots while Azusa Pacific had 12. The Cougars also dominated on corners, holding a 10-1 advantage which accounted for two of their scores.
Alexa Douglas notched two saves for her second clean sheet of the season, and the team’s fourth in the last five matches.
"As a team we defended really well tonight," said Surrell after his Cougars surrendered just two shots on goal.
Azusa Pacific dropped to No. 3 in the NAIA rankings after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Point Loma Nazarene, but remained atop the conference ratings, placing ahead of Concordia (No. 2), and Point Loma Nazarene (No. 3).
The win improved Azusa Pacific's record against Fresno Pacific to 12-0 all time.