RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Senior Lindsey Kimball scored 4 goals, including 2 in the first quarter, to lead Azusa Pacific to an 11-6 victory over Fresno Pacific University and salvage a split of 2 contests during the opening day of the Lancer Invitational on the campus of California Baptist University.
The Cougars fell to NCAA Division I No. 12-ranked Cal State Northridge, 18-6, in the first game.
Kimball put the Cougars on the board less than 2 minutes in to knot the score at 1-1. She closed the first quarter with another goal with 54 seconds left to put Azusa Pacific up 5-2. From there the Cougars rolled, using another Kimball goal and tallies by Kristina Steinburner and Michelle Lutz to assume an insurmountable 8-2 lead at halftime.
In all Azusa Pacific scored 8 straight goals, the last in the string by Ashley Elven to go up 9-2 midway through the third quarter. Cougar Coach Jeff Lee cleared the bench for the final 12 minutes of action.
The victory was the Cougars’ second in already 3 meetings with Fresno Pacific in the young season.
“We have a lot of experience on this team,” said Lee, “and there is a high-level of maturity. The ladies made some great adjustments over last weekend’s play, understanding the little things we were trying to get them to do. It showed in their play today.”
Elven, Lutz and Steinbruner each had 2 goals apiece, and Ivonne Garcia added a solo goal to round the Cougar attack.
After surrendering 2 goals in the first 4 minutes of play, Azusa Pacific tightened the screws and held the Sunbirds scoreless for over 15 minutes.
“We played great team defense today,” said Lee. “We moved very well and covered for one another. I’m very pleased with the improvement of our defense from last week to this week.”
Against Cal State Northridge, the Cougars hung tight with the national power, trailing by just a goal at 5-4 after the first quarter. However, the Matadors went on a 10-1 run to race out to a 15-5 lead early in the fourth quarter. In all 11 different Matadors scored.
Azusa Pacific was paced by Jennelle Stacey’s 3 goals. Lutz, Garcia and Melissa McKown accounted for the Cougars’ other scores.
With the split Azusa Pacific moves to 3-2 on the season. The Cougars return to the Lancer Invitational Saturday (Jan. 30) to take on NCAA Division III No. 3-ranked Occidental College at 8 a.m., followed by an 11:45 a.m. contest against Cal State San Bernardino.
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