APU claimed a tight win over CBU in their final regular season contest
A special atmosphere filled Citrus Aquatics Center on Thursday afternoon; it was senior night for Azusa Pacific’s water polo team. APU battled in front of a packed crowd to grab their 17th win of the season, defeating Cal Baptist 11-9.
A tight contest throughout, both teams looked to finish their season on a positive note. At moments, it looked like the Cougars would really pull ahead, they had a two-goal lead eight times, but the Lancers continued to fight back and made the match interesting down to the final second.
The Lancers were led by an incredible performance from Jamie Hutton, who tallied four goals through the first half and finished the game with six. However, a lack of depth on the CBU squad was a noticeable weakness; the rest of the team only scored three goals.
It quickly became evident that the Cougars needed to tightly defend Hutton and keep the ball away from her. In the second half, they did just that and her offensive production slowed down, as did CBU’s as a whole.
For the Cougars, crisp passing and disciplined play were the keys to the win. Their passing allowed them to get plenty of shots on goal. APU built a solid 8-5 lead at halftime. Although the Cougars’ offense slowed down in the second half, only notching three more goals, it was enough to secure the win.
The Cougars’ disciplined play was also important, giving them an edge. APU only has seven fouls in the contest, in contrast to the Lancers’ eleven fouls, which included three penalties. This gave APU three penalty shots; they converted two of them.
This was a terrific way for the Cougars to end their season. They finish with a regular season record of 17-13, a big improvement over their 16-16 record last year, and will head into the Golden Coast Conference Tournament riding a three-game win streak.