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Cougars Down 2 Ranked Foes

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March 7, 2011
Chris Duke

Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Azusa Pacific pushed its winnings streak to 5 in a row with 2 big wins over the University of La Verne and California Lutheran University in the CLU Spring Classic Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars pulled out a 13-12 win over NCAA Division III No. 3-ranked Cal Lutheran in their first game of the day, leading the entire game beginning in the 4-goal first quarter. Azusa Pacific then took No. 8 La Verne 19-14, setting a season high for most goals in a match.

The day was led by freshman Alyssa Hess, who put away 12 goals in the two games. Hess scored 7 in the La Verne match and 5 against Cal Lutheran, putting her total on the year to 24, which makes her top scorer for the Cougars this season thus far. Senior Michelle Lutz also had a fine pair of games, scoring 6 goals, with 5 coming in the high scoring La Verne contest.

In the first match versus Cal Lutheran in program history, Azusa Pacific’s win streak was almost broken when the Regals scored 3 goals in the last 4 minutes to pull to within a goal.

Although the Cougars started the match off down 3-1, they regained the lead at the end of the first quarter, and never trailed again.

Hess scored the first goal of the match 2 minutes and 12 seconds in, which began her 5 goal performance on the day. Senior veteran Ivonne Garcia played an instrumental part in regaining the first quarter lead, scoring 2 goals just 44 seconds apart, before junior Rebecca Edwardsscored a goal with 1:46 left in the quarter to complete the Cougar comeback.

Following the same trend of the Cal Lutheran match, the slow start for Azusa Pacific against La Verne was forgotten after an 8 goal third quarter.

With the Cougars down 8-6 at halftime, a quick start at the beginning of the second half sparked one of the highest scoring quarters of the year. Hess scored 3 goals and senior Ashley Elven added 2, with her last goal tying the match at 11. Garcia’s 2 goals 17 seconds apart in the last minute of the third extended the Cougar lead to 14-11.

With the 2 wins in the tournament, the Cougars extend their winning streak and improve their record to 7-8 after starting off the year at 1-7. Their next games take place Friday, March 11, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. against Macalaster University and No. 3 Claremont-Scripps Colleges, respectively, in the Convergence Tournament hosted by Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.