Los Angeles Soccer: Natalie Sun
Sun scored twice in the first 20 minutes as the second-seeded Cougars (15-2-2) romped to a 4-0 quarterfinal victory over Mobile, Ala. (19-4-1) in Decatur, Ala., to set up a rematch with three-time defending champion Lee (21-2-0).
“We looked strong from start to finish,” APU coach Jason Surrell told his school's athletics website. “Conditions were better today and had good team defending again. We were solid and helped when we needed to.”
Sun also assisted a Heidi Witschi goal, and Molly Lavin also tallied for APU, which held a 13-0 shot advantage over Mobile's high-powered attack, which came in averaging 2.91 goals per game.
“We had a game plan going in. We knew their forwards were really good in the air, so we just kept that in mind and worked together as a team,” sophomore defender Danielle Ross said. “Our goal every game is to get a shutout and give up as few shots on goal as possible.”
Third-seeded Lee, from Cleveland, Tenn., advanced to the final four with a 2-0 win over Embry-Riddle, Fla. The Flames beat Azusa Pacific, 1-0, in last year's semifinals, but the Cougars won a rematch, 2-1, in Portland, Ore., in late August.
APU's second-seeded women advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-0 victory in the driving rain in Decatur, Ala. The Cougars' men will take on Hastings in a quarterfinal with a victory in a second-round game Tuesday in Orange Beach, Ala.
The women (15-2-2), who beat Ottawa, Kan., in the tournament opener nine days earlier in Azusa, will face the winner of Tuesday's second-round game between Mobile, Ala. (18-3-1) and Graceland, Iowa (10-6-4) in a quarterfinal Wednesday.
Lynsey Browne (Alta Loma/St. Lucy's Priory and UC Riverside) converted a penalty kick after Brittany Flanagan drew a foul in the 42nd minute, and Natalie Sun finished in the 64th after Allie Stone touched on a cross from Natalie Nick (Cypress/Calvary Chapel HS).
Azusa Pacific's men (13-3-3) take on Science & Arts of Oklahoma (17-4-0) in their second-round game. Hastings' top-ranked men (22-1-0) beat Illinois' St. Xavier, 1-0, in their opener Monday.
Amanda Hardeman's goal in the 88th minute couldn't save UC Irvine. It just delayed the pain.
The Anteaters twice rallied from deficits Friday night but fell short in the tiebreaker and were eliminated by visiting San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Division I women's tournament.
The Toreros (12-7-1) outfired UCI, 5-3, on penalties to advance to next weekend's second-round clash against the winner of Saturday night's game between No. 2 UCLA and New Mexico.
Irvine (14-4-3) was 90 seconds from defeat when Hardeman (Laguna Niguel/Dana Hills HS and Santiago Canyon College) struck from Dana Sanderlin's cross to force a 20-minute sudden-death overtime.
Mariah Butera scored in the fourth minute to provide a lead for San Diego, the West Coast Conference co-champion, and Taylor Housley restored the advantage late in the first half after the 23nd-minute header by Zoya Farzaneh (Irvine/Irvine HS), from Cami Privett's pass, pulled the Anteaters even.
The Toreros were in charge of the tiebreaker from the start, taking a 2-0 lead after goalkeeper Courtney Parsons stopped Judy Christopher (Ontario/Upland HS) on Irvine's first attempt. The next three Anteaters -- Sanderlin (Upland/Upland HS), CoCo Goodson and Zuri Walker -- converted their attempts, but San Diego made all five of its shots. Stephanie Ochs clinched the victory.
In other women's action:
- Azusa Pacific (13-2-2) won Golden State Athletic Conference tournament title, outfiring host Point Loma Nazarene, 4-2, on penalties following a scoreless tie in the final. APU, No. 5 in the NAIA rankings, converted on four of five attempts -- Natalie Sun's shot was decisive -- and goalkeeper Alexa Douglas made two stops to thwart the No. 4 Sea Lions (18-1-2).
The eighth-ranked Waves (15-1-4) claimed their first conference title since 2002 when San Diego routed Santa Clara, 3-0, knocking the seventh-ranked Broncos from the top spot they wrested last weekend from Pepperdine.
San Diego (12-7-0), which was led by three Stephanie Ochs assists, also claimed a share of the crown, but Pepperdine wins the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament after beating the Toreros last month.
Santa Clara (13-2-5) fell to 6-1-1 in WCC play; USD and Pepperdine finished 7-1.
The Waves scored a 4-0 victory over San Francisco in Malibu, with Laura Cole (Whittier/La Habra HS) and Amanda LeCave scoring first-half goals and Karissa Garcia and Michelle Pao tallying after halftime.
In other women's action:
- Sydney Leroux scored her 15th and 16th goals and assisted two by freshman Sam Mewis as fourth-ranked UCLA (15-1-3) romped to a 5-2 win over USC (7-13-0) in front of 3,826 at Drake Stadium. Zakiya Bywaters had three assists for the Bruins, who finished second to Stanford in the Pacific 12 Conference.
Miguel Ibarra's second-half goal Tuesday night carried UC Irvine past Cal Poly. Now the Anteaters must play a waiting game.
Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS) finished a feed from his former Taft College teammate Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) in the 56th minute to give No. 14 UCI (14-5-1) a 1-0 victory in San Luis Obispo -- and a home assignment for next week's Big West Conference men's soccer tournament semifinals.
The Anteaters, who wrapped up their Big West campaign at 6-3-1, are four points above UC Davis (5-3) and No. 17 UC Santa Barbara (5-4) in the conference standings. The Gauchos can't catch UCI, but Davis has two games left -- and one victory and one tie Wednesday against last-place Cal State Fullerton and Saturday at UC Riverside -- would be enough to catch up.
Davis beat Irvine and would be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament if they shared the regular-season title.
All four tournament berths were clinched Tuesday, thanks to Irvine's victory and UC Santa Barbara's 3-2 triumph at Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos and UC Riverside will join Irvine and Davis in Wednesday's semifinals.
CSUN and Cal Poly were eliminated from contention.
Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice, including a deflected shot that found the net with 19 seconds to go in overtime, to lift UC Santa Barbara.
A scoreless draw was enough to give UC Irvine command of the Big West Conference race.
The ninth-ranked Anteaters (13-4-1) held off a late Cal State Northridge push in the Valley to notch their seventh shutout of the season and improve to 5-2-1 in the Big West, giving them a one-point lead over UC Davis (5-3), which lost at UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors are 7-7-2.
UC Irvine has two games remaining -- Saturday at home against UC Riverside and Tuesday at Cal Poly -- and likely will need victories in both to claim the conference crown.
In other menīs action:
- Tim Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS) scored twice to lead UC Santa Barbara (10-5-1) to a 3-1 win over UC Davis, knocking the Aggies to second place in the Big West.
- Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored in the 65th minute to give UC Riverside (8-5-3) a 1-1 Big West draw with visiting Cal State Fullerton (7-5-4). Oscar Aguero (Anaheim/Katella HS) tallied in the first half for the Titans.
- Gabe Ramirez (Pasadena/Crescenta Valley HS) set up goals by Evan Keny-Guyer and Richie Marquez (Pomona/Bloomington HS) as Redlands (16-3-0), the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, romped to a 3-1 victory at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (8-4-1).
All-American Ethan Finlay scored a hat trick, and fourth-ranked Creighton overwhelmed No. 7 UC Irvine in a non-conference men's soccer showdown Saturday night in Omaha, Neb.
Finlay provided a fifth-minute lead, then added goals in the 62nd and 88th minutes, each time extending the Bluejays' lead to two goals. Jimmy Turner (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) headed home a Christopher Santana cross in the 63rd for the Anteaters (12-3-0).
“That's a very, very good opponent. They will do well this year,” Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich, whose team notched its second win over a top-10 foe in its past three games, told his school's athletics website. “That's a great win for us. I thought the first half was probably the best half I have seen us play this season."
Creighton (11-2-0) hadn't conceded a goal in its first five home games.
UCIrvine leads the Big West Conference with a 4-1 mark, one game ahead of Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Davis.
In other men's action:
- Matt Sheldon tallied three minutes into overtime, his second goal of the game, to give UC Davis a 2-1 Big West victory at Cal State Northridge (6-6-1). Edwin Rivas (Los Angeles/Santee Educational Complex) scored in the 79th minute for the Matadors.
- Ben Sperber (Palm Desert/Desert Christian HS) slotted home a loose ball in the 83rd minute as UC Riverside (6-5-2) rallied for a 1-1 Big West draw at Cal State Fullerton (6-5-2). Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) tallied for the Titans.
Christian Hernandez and Christian Santana each contributed a goal and an assist as No. 7 UC Irvine pulled three points ahead in the Big West Conference men's soccer race with a 5-1 romp Wednesday night at UC Riverside.
Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS), Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) and Norby Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS) scored first-half goals for the Anteaters (12-2-0), and an own goal 2― minutes into the second half made it 4-0. Santana netted Irvine's finale 10 minutes later.
The Anteaters have won four in a row since opening Big West play with a 1-0 loss to Cal Poly and lead Cal State Northridge, which is 3-1-0, by three points. UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and UC Davis have six points from four games.
UC Riverside (6-5-1) has stumbled badly since its Big West opener, an upset of UC Santa Barbara, losing three in a row -- including a 5-0 decision against Cal Poly in its previous match.
In other men's action:
- No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (9-3-1) throttled visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-4-2), romping to a 6-0 Big West triumph Tuesday as Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) and David Opoku each scored twice. The shot total was close: 16-13 for the Gauchos. Fullerton lost its third in a row.
- Cal State Northridge (6-5-1) is 3-1 in the Big West after a 2-0 victory Tuesday at Cal Poly. Thomas Ramos and Brian Behrad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) netted the goals.
UC Irvine's finest season in women's soccer came to a half Saturday night with an overtime loss to Washington in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals.
The Anteaters (19-3-2), the second Big West Conference team ever to reach the Sweet 16, struggled to create in a 1-0 defeat on their home field.
Freshman Allie Beahan scored the goal in the 103rd minute, beating UCI goalkeeper Daniele de Seriere from a Sarah Martinez feed. De Seriere (Cerritos/Mayfair HS) made nine saves.
The Anteaters were limited to seven shots, just two on frame, by a Washington defense that shut down high-powered Portland in the second round.
Elise Britt and Sydney Leroux scored on each side of halftime, and UCLA held off Central Florida, 2-1, Saturday night at Drake Stadium to reach the final 16 in the NCAA Division I women's tournament.
The Bruins (13-7-2), who have struggled this season and weren't one of 16 national seeds in the tournament, are two wins from an eighth successive College Cup final four berth.
It's an unlikely prospect; UCLA likely is headed to No. 1 Stanford for next weekend's third-round match. The Cardinal (19-0-2) face Santa Clara (13-6-2) in a second-rounder Sunday.
Britt, a senior, scored her first collegiate goal in the 42nd minute, heading home a Dana Wall corner kick. Leroux, on the cusp of the U.S. women's national team, netted her 13th goal of the year in the 49th, heading in a cross from Lauren Barnes (Upland/Upland HS) after a quick restart near midfield.