The Cougars fell short to the No. 10 team in the nation Hawai’i Hilo.
Saturday evening was senior night and the final home game of the year for the Azusa Pacific University Women’s Soccer team at the Cougar Soccer Complex. In a fast paced and physical game, the Cougars battled with Hawaii Hilo University, resulting in a loss 1-3.
Before the game, eight seniors were recognized for APU: Evelina Von Euler, #5, Kayla Grisham, #6, Brooke Bern, #11, Ruby Fernandez, #19, Noanne Rosse, #20, Mackenzie Coleman, #21, Sydney Smith, #28 and Alyssa Holt, #32.
“It was definitely bittersweet,” said Assistant Coach Emmy Meyring. “They’re going to be missed but we’re excited to see what they do in their endeavors in life.”
APU kicked off the first half. Hilo quickly got the ball but was called offsides. The Cougars used their speed to get the ball up the field for a shot on goal by Katie Prado, #23. The shot was saved by the Vulcans’ goalie. Soon after, Hilo quickly scored a goal seven minutes into the game (0-1). Answering back in just a minute of play, Aubrey Dunaway, #3, scored for APU to make it 1-1.
The Vulcans used their speed to take two more shots on goal within the 15-minute mark. In their third attempt for a goal, Hilo scored again in the 18th minute (1-2). The game continued at a fast pace with several shots exchanged from both teams. In the 25th minute, the Vulcans scored again, setting the score 1-3.
The Cougars stayed aggressive offensively, fighting for possession and being first to the ball. They took five more shots before the end of the first half. Hilo didn’t let up, but APU maintained solid defense to keep the score 1-3.
To start the second half, Hilo tipped off the ball. The Vulcans controlled possession of the ball early and took three quick shots to set the pace. APU came out aggressive and put the pressure on Hilo’s defense, taking four shots. Despite their efforts, APU couldn’t answer back. The Cougars continued to be sound defensively for the second half, keeping the score 1-3 until the end.
“We fought really hard and we had a lot of opportunities,” said Von Euler.
When asked what the team can learn from this game, team captain Jaci Maze, #13 said, “it was obvious that we still fought for the game, but I think it would have been a bigger impact on the scoreboard if we had continued to play our game.”
Going into the game, APU had a 7-3-4 overall record and a 4-1-2 conference record. Hilo, ranked #1 in the PacWest Conference, entered the game with a 12-0-3 overall record and a 7-0-2 conference record.
The Cougars will play again on Thursday, Nov. 3 at Holy Names University and Saturday, Nov. 5 at Fresno Pacific