THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.-- It may not have been the start they wanted, but the Cougars sure are happy with the ending. After losing its sixth straight match, this time a 15-3 blowout to the CWPA’s 10th ranked UC Santa Barbara, Azusa Pacific bounced back with an impressive win of its own, defeating Chapman 8-3 to wrap up its four-match stint at the Posada Royale Invitational.
Taylor Whitney posted her second hat trick of the tournament as she outscored the entire Panther roster in the win with a season-high four goals. Keeper Brooke Sovick recorded a season-high 16 saves against Chapman, while Courtney Folsom added another multi-goal game to her impressive freshman campaign.
In the match Azusa Pacific (6-10) jumped out to a 6-0 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back. The Panthers finally got on the board with 49 seconds to play in the half, but trailed 6-1 at the break. The third saw just one goal before Chapman outscored the Cougars 2-1 in the final period.
Everyone on the Azusa Pacific roster received playing time in the match. Jennifer Young and Megan Minekime each added a score, while Folsom, Whitney, and Minekime each had two steals. Azusa Pacific did a good job of sharing the ball in the win as seven players tallied an assists, while Sovick blocked not one, but two five-meter penalty shots.
In the loss to UCSB Gabrielle Kedrel led the Cougars with two goals and Whitney added the third. The Gauchos stormed to an 8-0 advantage at the 4:45 mark in the second quarter and had little trouble coasting to a 12-goal win. Jennifer Horchler led all players with an Azusa Pacific-record nine steals in the defeat .
The next time the Cougars get in the pool will be on Saturday when they play a pair of NCAA Div. teams, Bucknell and No. 13 Indiana, at the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunner Invitational.