Easy as 1-2-3 – Azusa Pacific University Athletics
AZUSA, CA – Men’s football Azusa Pacific beat Holy Names 3-0 in PacWest action Thursday night with a pair of second-half goals from David Kwinn and a third of Marco astorga. With this victory, the Cougars now occupy first place in the conference with 10 points in five games, having won three of their first five PacWest games.
Kwinn’s brace was his first of the season and the fourth of his career as he leads the Cougars in goals scored this season with five. Astorga registered an assist and a goal for the second time in the last three games. Senior captain James ndubueze played a big part in the win with two assists as the keeper Leo Moreno recorded his third clean sheet of the season.
How did it happen: The Hawks took center stage early in the game, forcing Moreno to record his first two saves of the night. Azusa Pacific threatened several times in the first 45 minutes, but they couldn’t aim for anything, including Ndubueze’s best half-time chance. It happened in the 25th minute when Holy Names gave the ball into a danger zone, but Ndubueze couldn’t maintain his curling effort inside the post as he missed the cage by a few inches.
In the second half, the Cougars went out on a mission and the score came from Kwinn in the 52nd and 57th minutes. On the opening goal, Ndubueze used his strength to beef up a defender on the ball before leading the Hawks goalie inside the 18-yard penalty area. Instead of aiming for the goal, Ndubueze scored it for Kwinn who finished the game with a strike that found the bottom corner to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
Just five minutes later, Ndubueze broke free in midfield on a counterattack, having faced Astorga on the wing who played the perfect pass for Kwinn to score his second of the game. The Cougars had caught the Hawks off guard and not only had Kwinn ahead of the pack, but also Ndubueze who kindly allowed his teammate to give Azusa Pacific a solid 2-0 lead.
After the two goals, Holy Names dotted the Azusa Pacific net with seven shots over the next 20 minutes as Moreno added two more saves to his tally. But it was the Cougars who put the finishing touches to the game with Astorga’s goal in the 77th minute. Back from injury, Gregory Diep was able to find Astorga whose right foot rocket shot from outside the box was perfect to find the upper right corner. The Holy Names goalie didn’t stand a chance as Astorga continues to shine in his first college season.
Following: Azusa Pacific (7-2-2, 3-1-1 PacWest) continues his five home games when he takes on the Dominican Republic on Saturday. The opening kickoff at the Cougar Soccer Complex is scheduled for 3 p.m.