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Cougars Split Invite Openers

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April 15, 2011
Tyler Wilson Humphries

AZUSA, Calif. -- Freshman Alyssa Hess scored 9 goals in a pair of games, leading Azusa Pacific to a 13-7 win over Vanguard Friday morning before the Cougars dropped a 14-8 decision to California Baptist in an afternoon contest Friday at the NAIA Invitational.

In the opening game of the 5-team tournament’s round-robin format, Azusa Pacific broke the game open with a 5-goal second half to take a 7-0 halftime lead. The Cougars led by a margin of 9 at one point, and Hess led the way with 4 goals that included a pair of second-quarter scores. Senior Ivonne Garcia scored 3 goals, and juniors Rebecca Edwards and Jamie Baumler contributed 2 goals each.

The Cougars struck first in the second game of the day, taking a 1-0 lead in the first 3 minutes on the first of 3 goals from senior Michelle Lutz. However, California Baptist answered with 6 straight goals, holding Azusa Pacific scoreless for nearly 9 minutes across the first and second quarters before Hess scored the first of her 5 goals in the game to cut the lead to 6-2.

The Lancers enjoyed a 9-3 halftime lead but were held to 1 goal in a low-scoring third quarter. Hess scored twice in the quarter, pulling the Cougars to within 10-5, but California Baptist opened the fourth quarter with 3 more goals, pushing the lead to 13-5 before Hess scored twice and Lutz once in the final 4 minutes for the final 14-8 margin.

Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Armagost deflected 11 shots on the day, recording 6 saves in the loss to California Baptist after stopping 5 shots against Vanguard.

Azusa Pacific is now 15-13 overall to remain 2 games above .500, and the Cougars have won 13 of their last 18 contests. The NAIA Invitational concludes with 5 more matches on Saturday, April 16, at the Lancer Aquatics Center in Riverside, Calif. Azusa Pacific takes on Concordia at 10:30 a.m. and Fresno Pacific in a 2:30 p.m. matchup. The Cougars split a pair of 1-goal matches with Concordia this year and lost to Fresno Pacific twice to open the 2011 campaign.