Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams fought hard, but ultimately lost to one of their biggest PacWest rivals
With first place on the line, the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team started off strong, but fell short to California Baptist, losing 1-0. This is the Cougars’ first loss in the PacWest conference since last season, breaking a 19-game win/tie streak in conference play.
“I was a little nervous but I was confident in how we have been doing,” junior defender Brooke Gower said. “Coming into this game we were pretty pumped for it. We have been getting progressively better throughout the season, but coming out of this game was a little rough for us.”
During the start of the second half, the Cougars came out with energy and were ready to battle. However, that was not enough for the Lancers’ offense.
“We knew it would be a battle the whole way. There’s no question about it; they are a great group of athletes and they are well-coached,” head coach Don Lawrence said. “We knew we had to play the game of our life tonight and we had one little defensive error, and they scored a goal. We out shot them and had the better chances I think, but we just did not complete the task.”
Within the 20th regulation minute, Hoku Afong from Cal Baptist scored a goal with the assistance of Jordan Dow. After that goal, the Cougars struggled to gain momentum. With this goal, the Cougars’ went into halftime trailing by one and were unable to score in the second half. APU’s Kennedy Christie and Brooke Gower attempted two shots against the Lancers’ goalkeeper, but were unsuccessful.
“We tried to play too fast and that caused a lot of turn overs. Part of that is due to the pressure…We weren’t as calm as we should have been under pressure, but we need to correct that before Saturday, because Saturday’s game against Fresno Pacific is going to be the same way as tonight. They press and press and they press,” Lawrence said.
The APU’s soccer team is now 6-1-2 in PactWest play and 6-4-2 overall.
“We couldn’t lose this game for our record and going into post-season. This was a big game for us and we knew we still had a chance to win. We are not as in control of our future as we would have liked tonight,” Gower said.
The Cougars’ next matchup will be against Fresno Pacific Saturday, Oct. 21 at 5 p.m. in Fresno, Calif.. The Cougars return home Thursday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. against Academy of Art.
The APU men’s soccer team put up a tough fight, but lost to California Baptist with a score of 3-0. The Cougars were able to keep the score even for the first half, but were overtaken in the second.
“We tried to move the ball a little faster and get a few more numbers in the attack. It is difficult against Cal Baptist because of the way they play. They really defend with six players really well,” head coach Dave Blomquist said. “When they score, it is still tough to get more numbers in the attacks because of what they do defensively and those six are really solid. It was a challenge all night.”
It was not until the second half where things had taken a turn. In the 57th regulation minute, the Lancers’ Sebastian Wiesboeck scored the first goal of the night. Following up after his goal, his teammate Aidan Apodaca had scored two goals, one of which had come from a penalty kick, putting the game out of reach.
“Seeing how they play with each other, we as a team can learn from that. We showed at the beginning of the first half that we can compete with the top school, and we need to keep working hard,” sophomore midfielder Arturo Astroga said.
The Cougars are now 3-9-1 overall and 3-5-1 in PacWest Conference play. Their next game is Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. against Fresno Pacific in Fresno, Calif.. The Cougars return home Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. against Academy of Art.