LA JOLLA, Calif. - Pacific West Conference champion Azusa Pacific University scored two unlikely goals late in the first half and went on to eliminate No. 21 Sonoma State University, 3-1, in a first-round match of the 2016 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Championship Thursday afternoon at Triton Soccer Stadium.
APU, the West Region's No. 6 seed, moves to 12-3-4 and earns a rematch with second-seeded host UC San Diego in the second round this Saturday, Nov. 12. Kickoff at Triton Soccer Stadium on North Campus in La Jolla is set for 12 p.m.
The Cougars are now an unbeaten 9-0-3 over their last 12, while the Tritons will come in as winners of 15 straight. Ninth-ranked UCSD routed then-12th-ranked APU, 5-0, in the season opener for both teams, also in La Jolla, back on Sept. 1.
Third seed Sonoma State ends its 2016 campaign at 12-3-3. The Seawolves came in an unbeaten 6-0-2 over their previous eight, with three successive shutouts. Having given up just seven goals all season, they surrendered a season-high three.
The game's first goal came from Stephanie Lossau, although the junior didn't know too much about it, as Sonoma State senior goalkeeper Allison Hadidian's clearance attempt smacked straight off of her and found the bottom right corner of the net.
With a mere five ticks remaining in the opening half, the Cougars doubled their advantage, also in rather shock fashion. Sophomore Kellie Yoshihara cut in from the right flank and unleashed a left-footer from 25 yards that went into the bottom left. That was off of reserve goalie Kristen Spear, and was Yoshihara's first college goal.
Sonoma State pulled one back early in the second to give it some hope, as Sam Layman poked home the loose ball for her third from close range after Cecilia Sifuentes' left-sided cross for her second assist.
APU put the game out of reach, however, in the 84th minute, through nice combination play, Kennedy Christie ultimately heading home Mikaela Truckey's right-sided cross at the back post. Allyn Brown also received credit for an assist.
PacWest Goalkeeper of the Year Sarah Klinkenberg had six saves for APU, with Hadidian and Spear finishing with two stops apiece for the Seawolves. Shots were pretty even, with Sonoma State nursing a narrow 14-13 edge.