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Stirm and Coggan put their stamps on nationally ranked teams 9/29


At Valley Christian, Brandon Stirm and Jimmy Coggan helped lead the boys soccer team to it’s best season in school history.  Some things never change…Both Azusa Pacific University and Seattle Pacific University are off to their best starts in years. 


For Azusa, Stirm personally propelled his side to a 3-0 win over #2 ranked Fresno Pacific, scoring the team’s first goal on a first time shot 3 minutes in.  On their first serious threat in the second minute, Ian Liebbrandt flicked a heel pass in the box to Andriy Budnyy, who then lifted a ball to the right side to a wide open Brandon Stirm. Fresno Pacific keeper Oscar Rodriguez had no chance as Stirm rifled a one-timer past his outstretched arms and into the net for a 1-0 Cougar lead, and the onslaught began.  After the game, Stirm said: “It’s an awesome feeling to score against #2 ranked Fresno Pacific.  This was a huge game for us, and I’m glad that I could contribute.” Stirm has 3 goals and 2 assists so far on the young season.


The Cougars were ranked #5 in the nation leading up to yesterday’s game.  They will likely be bumped up into the top 2 after the convincing win over previously undefeated FPU (8-1).  With the win, the Cougars, who are off to their best 8-game start in program history, remain unbeaten and move to 7-0-1 overall, 1-0-0 GSAC. Fresno Pacific, which advanced to last year’s NAIA championship game, suffers its first defeat of 2004 and falls to 8-1-0, 0-1-0.


The second-ranked Sunbirds are the highest ranked team the Cougars have beaten since they defeated No. 1-ranked Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), 1-0, in 1996…the team that VC coach John Basanese played on.


The Cougars will travel to Concordia for another GSAC game on Thursday.


Up the coastline…


Seattle Pacific played its first home game after returning from a 25-day road trip where they won 5 straight. SPU continued its rapid ascent in the men's soccer national rankings, jumping another eight spots to No. 10 in the nation (NCAA DII). The Falcons (7-1-1), unbeaten in their last eight games, have moved up 14 places over two weeks in the poll conducted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).


SPU is off to its best start in 11 years, despite playing the last seven games on the road. They started the season unranked.


Jimmy Coggan scored his first collegiate goal on Tuesday night in a 5-1 victory over Montana State Billings. The game was his first home game.  Coggan took down a long ball from Vaillancourt, beat a defender and slammed home an 8-yard shot at 37:31.  The win pushed SPU to 8-1-1, and will likely push them up even further in the national rankings.  For Coggan, his presence will continue to be felt as he earns more and more time up top.


SPU hosts Humboldt State in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference game Saturday at 4.  Check back at vcsoccer.com for updates on the game.


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Varsity Tryouts:

October 20, 2004