It took two-thirds of the game to do it, but the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team finally scored in the 60th minute and again in the 76th minute to beat the Hawai’i Pacific Sea Warriors 2–0. The Cougars remain undefeated in conference play.
The Cougars’ defense held the Sea Warriors to zero first-half shots and seven total for the game, as opposed to the Cougars’ 21 shots. This defensive unit, primarily the back four and freshman goalkeeper Sarah Klinkenberg, has allowed only one goal in four games of conference play, keeping up its stellar performance all season.
In conference play this season, the Cougars have held their opponents to an average of seven attempted shots per game. On the opposite side of the ball, the Cougars are averaging 22 shots per game.
With no points on the board after the first half, the Cougars continued to attack the box in the second half to wear down the Sea Warriors’ defense. In the 60th minute, sophomore forward/midfielder Haley Fisher sent a cross to sophomore midfielder Mayra Almazan at the top of the box. Almazan sent the ball sailing into the back of the net for the first goal of the match and her fourth of the season. Fisher’s assist on the goal gives her three assists this year, the most on the team.
16 minutes later, junior forward Amanda Hardy took the ball from just outside the box and launched it over the goalkeeper’s head for the second goal and her first of the season.
As the game progressed, HPU’s scoring chances improved. In the 75th minute, Sea Warriors freshman midfielder Sky Nanoo had a one-on-one with Klinkenberg, who sprawled out and deflected the shot with her foot.
Another close call for the Sea Warriors came in the 85th minute. Senior forward Andrea Aguirre got past Klinkenberg, but the shot was stopped by Cougars senior defender Allie Stone, keeping the streak of shutouts to three.
The Cougars have two more games to play this week. Thursday at 5 p.m., the Cougars (5-1-1, 3-0-1) will take on the Hawai’i Hilo Vulcans (4-2-1, 1-2-0) at the Cougar Soccer Complex, then the Chaminade Silverswords (0-6, 0-2) this Saturday.