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Smooth Sailing In Home Finale

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April 9, 2011
Joe Reinsch

AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific seniors Ivonne Garcia and Michelle Lutz each scored 4 goals in their final home game, joining a 4-goal performance from junior Rebecca Edwards to give the Cougars a 16-6 win over Whittier College Saturday afternoon in Azusa.

Azusa Pacific is now 12-4 over its past 16 games to improve to 14-12 on the year, and the Cougars moved 2 games above .500 for the fourth time this season after starting the campaign with just 2 wins in its first 10 contests.

Whittier took the early lead, scoring in the opening minute and answering Azusa Pacific’s first goal within 30 seconds for a 2-1 advantage midway through the first quarter. However, in the last minute of the period, Lutz tied the game at 2-2 when she scored the first of 9 straight Cougar goals in a 10-minute, 24-second stretch.

Freshman Alyssa Hess scored 3 goals in the second quarter, part of a 6-0 period that gave the Cougars an 8-2 halftime lead, and Edwards tallied a pair of scores in the first 2 minutes of the third quarter to complete the 9-0 run and give Azusa Pacific a commanding 10-2 edge.

After Whittier scored consecutive goals to cut the lead to 10-4 midway through the third quarter, sophomore Jennifer Horchler scored the first of 4 straight goals for the Cougars that expanded the lead to 14-4 with 1:21 left in the period. Horchler’s score was followed by goals from the game’s scoring leaders: Lutz, Edwards, and Garcia.

Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Armagost made 9 saves on the day, helping hold Whittier to the fourth-lowest scoring total of the year for a Cougar opponent with the final 6-goal tally. Hess finished with 3 goals, all in her second-quarter hat-trick, and Horchler’s third-quarter score was her only goal of the contest.

Azusa Pacific wraps up the 2011 season next weekend, when it participates in the 2011 NAIA Invite hosted by California Baptist University. The Cougars’ 3-4 record against NAIA competition this year includes a pair of 1-goal defeats, and they take on Vanguard, California Baptist, Concordia, and Fresno Pacific in the 2-day round-robin tournament that takes place April 15-16 in Riverside.