The Cougars weren’t able to breakthrough as Concordia took the win 2-0

On Saturday, the Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team took on Concordia following a two-week road trip, which did not go the way the Cougars wanted. This game was an opportunity to get things back on track. Unfortunately, Concordia was able to grab the win in a close 2-0 game.

This game was much closer than the final score indicated. Starting the first half, the Cougars were ready to compete but Concordia played even harder and took a lot of shots early on. APU fought back with some early opportunities of their own but weren’t able to find the back of the net.

As the game went on in the first half, the Cougars became increasingly frustrated with their lack of scoring chances. 

“We came out really strong and we were doing a really good job of holding the ball,” said freshman Katie Prodo. “It just hurt that we couldn’t get that many chances.”

The Cougars were able to hold on in the first half until Concordia finally broke through in the 41st minute. The Cougars didn’t get a chance to go out there and respond before the half ended. However, the Cougars didn’t hang their heads, knowing their defensive play was still strong.

“Defensively, we were really strong and we held them off it’s just those set pieces that got through us at the end,” said Proto following the loss. 

Concordia outshot APU in the first half 8-3, something the Cougars need to improve on. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and APU will aim to create more offensive chances early on in future matches.

Going into the second half, the Cougars were down by just one goal and the game had gotten increasingly physical as time went on. Concordia took 15 fouls in the second half and 22 in total in comparison to APU’s one foul in the second half. However, even though there were fouls called, the officiating seemed spotty and that got under the skin of APU’s squad.

“We responded much better this time with the physical play than when we played [Concordia] last time,” said head coach Brooke Lincoln. “I think we were expecting [their physicality] and I was pleased with the way they handled the physical play today.”

Outside of the physicality, the lack of offense in this game was very frustrating for the Cougars. Ball movement was strong, but as the team moved towards the goal, there seemed to be disorganization regarding where the ball was going and how it got there.

“Our lack of passes and the fact that we were passing either too hard or too soft and getting too many touches on the ball as well [was a problem],” said senior Emmy Koflanovich. 

The Cougars know they can capitalize on their opportunities if they have more organization when attacking the net. That seems to be the main difference between wins and losses at this point in the season.

Concordia added another goal to the scoreboard in the 81st minute, and at that point, it looked as if the contest was put away. The Cougars walked off the field at the end of the game knowing they were close many times but couldn’t take the final step.

Looking forward, there are still plenty of games remaining and Lincoln knows that this loss wasn’t entirely on the players. 

“As a staff, we’ve got to do a better job getting our girls ready for this next week,” said Lincoln.

APU will face Hawai’i Pacific next on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Cougar Soccer Complex. HPU will be a tough test as they are currently on a three-game win streak. The name of the game for the Cougars in this next match will be capitalizing on their chances.