Azusa Pacific peppered Westmont’s goalkeeper with nine shots in the first half and then held on for a 4-2 women’s soccer victory at Thorrington Field on Monday.
The Cougars, an NCAA Division II power, took 13 shots total in the first half while taking a 4-0 lead. T But the Warriors (4-4) allowed just one more shot and none on frame for the rest of the non-conference match.
“APU was a really talented team,” Westmont coach Jenny Jaggard said. “They exposed us on some things that I think we’ve needed to work on defensively, but honestly I think it’s really a positive thing to get this out of the way.”
The Cougars scored two goals in the first eight minutes and extended their lead to 3-0 by the 15th minute.
Westmont, ranked sixth in the NAIA, took five shots in the first half although none were on frame. Azusa out-shot the Warriors 14-8 for the match.
“I told my team, ‘This a time to work on your mentality, and figure out how to come back and fight,’” Jaggard said.
The Warriors came to life early in the second half, drawing a penalty inside the 18-yard box. Senior Savannah Scott converted the penalty kick to the left side of the net for her first goal of the season.
Westmont kept the pressure on with another goal just two minutes later. Grace Duckens dribbled into Azusa’s 18-yard box and snuck a pass through four defenders to an onrushing Bri Johnson. The Warriors’ star forward finished the play for her second goal of the season.
“Our team got their act together early in that second half and played off some positive belief,” Jaggard said. “Credit to them for not rolling over and coming out with a different mentality.”
Azusa, however, did not allow another shot on goal after Johnson’s blast.
“The reality is there are some things that don’t develop when you’re winning all the time, so I think going through today was super-important and I’m happy this game happened,” Jaggard said.
Westmont will return to action on Thursday at home with a Golden State Athletic Conference match at noon against San Diego Christian
Boone wins Big West award
UCSB’s Rodney Boone was named as the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season and third time for his career.
The sophomore lefthander pitched a two-hit, 12-0 shutout against UC Davis in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday which was halted to seven innings by the league’s 10-run rule.
Boone (4-1), who also won the award on March 1, faced just one batter over the minimum. He walked just one and struck out six batters.
His four pitching wins rank 11th nationally. His earned run average of 1.42 ranks 33rd. Opponents are batting just .150 against him — the lowest allowed by any Big West pitcher so far this season.
Gauchos’ DeWeese honored
UCSB senior Randy DeWeese was chosen as the Off the Block National Opposite Hitter of the Week for the second time this season.
DeWeese recorded a match-high 18 kills with just one error on 26 swings (.654 hitting percentage) in the Gauchos’ first match against Cal State Northridge. He followed that up in the rematch with the Matadors with 20 kills and a .471 attack percentage.
UCSB (7-4, 3-3 Big West Conference), which is ranked third in the AVCA National poll, swept both matches to improve their records to 7-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big West Conference. The Gauchos will return to action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. with a home match against UC Irvine.
DeWeese, who leads the Big West with 170 total kills and a per-set average of 4.47, added 11 digs and six blocks in the two matches against CSUN. He also ranks third in the conference with 11 aces.