It was the second game of the year and took place on a neutral site a 2,400+ mile road-trip from the neutral site they last met at, but Azusa Pacific’s women’s soccer team gained a small measure of revenge, winning the battle of #1 vs. #2 Saturday as the Cougars knoked off three-time defending NAIA champion Lee University, 2-1 at the Cavalier Classic in Portland, Oregon.
Azusa Pacific proved to be the more aggressive side for most of the game, which resulted in the Cougars committing more fouls, yes, but also getting 10 corner kicks to the Flames’ one. One of those kicks led to the game-winner, when a kick into the box was left bouncing around in the box less than three minutes before halftime and freshman Shannon Hardy was able to head it in for her second goal in as many college games. The Cougars had taken the lead just eight minutes in when Emily Wood knocked in Brittany Flanagan’s cross from the right wing. Kim Conrad got Lee on the board with a header that beat keeper Alexa Douglas to the lower right corner, but by the time that happened, there was barely a minute left in the game. It was the seventh meeting between the two schools since 2005, with the Cougars now leading the overall series 4-3.
Closer to home, the men’s soccer team reversed the script from Thursday’s loss to Grand Canyon, this time surrendering the first goal to visiting Oklahoma Baptist before knocking off the eighth-ranked Bison, 2-1 at the Cougar Classic in Azusa. In a rough and tumble affair that saw 38 fouls and six yellow cards (three for each team), OBU struck in the 21st minute when Victor Costa–one of eight players on the Bison roster who hail from the same town in Brazil–took a pass from Andre Costa–no relation, apparently–and put it into the back of the net for his second goal of the year.
It took the Cougars until just before the halftime whistle to draw even, and they did so by sending in the subs. In the 44th minute, Henry Ortlip, who only played eleven minutes in the game, took a centering pass from Oktay Bulut and beat the keeper to the right post to level the match. Then in the 58th minute, freshman Carlos Garcia-Partida put forth a brilliant individual effort, stealing the ball, faking out a defender and putting the ball just inside the right post to provide the winning goal.
Both teams will be in action against the same opponent next Saturday, but in different locations. The women’s team get their home opener against Rocky Mountain College (MT), while the men will also be playing RMC, but their game will take place at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.