APU drops game against CSU Northridge and then beats the University of Toronto in home opener
The Cougars played at home for the first time this season, hosting a double header against Cal State Northridge and the University of Toronto. Although Azusa Pacific battled in the first game, the Cougars could not claw their way into the lead, losing to CSU Northridge 7-4. The Cougars rallied back in the second game, however, beating Toronto 13-1.
In game one, the Matadors jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter, taking a 3-0 lead headed into the second period. APU would not go down without a fight, however, as the Cougars sparked a 3-0 run of their own, with a goal by freshman attacker Britni Tisdale and two from junior center Mar Pastor Alvarez.
The second half was not kind to the Cougars. Despite tying the game at four early in the third quarter, they could not hold on. The Matadors took a 5-4 lead by the end of the third quarter, and added two more scores in the fourth, making the final score 7-4.
Senior goalkeeper Erica Marquez noted some of the differences between this matchup and the one earlier in the season, where APU had fell by a score of 6-7.
“I know one of their starters was injured last time we played, so she was back in the water this time and was one of their key players. I think they really prepared well for our offense,” Marquez said. “Their defense was solid and we couldn’t get shots past them. Our defense did the right thing, we had a lot of great attempts, but, ultimately, their defense trumped ours. We are going to be working on our offense for sure.”
Head Coach Julie Snodgrass noted that her team’s offense was not firing on all cylinders today, missing opportunities that they normally capitalize upon.
“With the calls late in the game, we had those six-on-five opportunities, but we didn’t convert our two opportunities in the fourth quarter and that was really a big momentum shift because if we score those goals, that is us tying the game or going up by one,” Snodgrass noted. “I think it was a momentum thing, I think that it was just the final finesse of the finishing and taking that extra step that wasn’t there today. I don’t think it was a lack of effort or a lack of doing the right things, it was just finishing the opportunities that we have. We were creating lots of opportunities and we just have to finish them.”
The second game was much friendlier to the Cougars, as they beat a short-handed Toronto side 13-1. A total of 10 different players scored for Azusa Pacific, with Alvarez, senior attacker Britt Harris and freshman Hannah Bradley each contributing two goals.
Although this was an exhibition match for both sides, both the players and coaching staff for the Cougars noted that this was still a great learning experience.
“I am from Barcelona and I know that playing abroad is really different from playing in the United States,” sophomore Mireia Tutusaus said. “We have to get the opportunity to play against the teams that are not from the States and learn from that, because I think the techniques and the game is really different, and it’s a chance to see how people play abroad and to learn from that.”
Azusa Pacific currently touts a 5-3 record and will travel to Thousand Oaks, Calif. for the Cal Lutheran Tournament where they will play against Cal Lutheran, Pomona-Pitzer, Cal State East Bay and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps next weekend.