CLINTON — The Ashford University men’s soccer team scored three goals in the second half Wednesday to edge non-conference opponent Cornell College 4-1.

The Saints (7-0-1) kept their unbeaten record clean before heading into a pair of pivotal weekend games against Midwest Collegiate Conference foe Viterbo University on Saturday and nationally-ranked Graceland University on Sunday.

Senior Eddie Garza recorded his team-high fifth goal of the year, Soroush Kalhor and Nick De Backer each recorded their fourth goals, while Garza’s younger brother, freshman Geraldo, tallied his third score.

“We were glad to get the win tonight, and we went up against a Cornell team that was better than what I thought our team might have expected,” Ashford coach Richard Markham said. “We were a little flat, played too deep not to get beat by a couple of their speedy forwards and couldn’t really get into the flow that we wanted.”

The Rams (3-5) ended Ashford’s five-match defensive scoreless streak, scoring on a second-half goal by Sungeun Kim. Up to that point, the Saints hadn’t yielded a goal since Sept. 1 against Coe College.

Geraldo Garza put the Saints on the board first in the 17th minute.

De Backer ripped the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal five minutes into the second half on a feed down the right side of the field by senior Mike Lentini.

Rafael Machado provided a no-look pass to assist Kalhor’s goal in the second half, his fifth helper of the year. He maneuvered around a pair of defenders and used a backwards pass off his heel to find a darting Kalhor.

“The score doesn’t really show how the game was, even if we won by three goals,” Machado said. “There were times where we probably got a little bit lazy, and we’ll need to correct that going into this weekend.”

AU women win eighth straight

CLINTON — Sophomore forward Abbye Garcia scored a pair of goals, and Amanda Campos scored her 10th goal as the Saints beat Cornell 3-0 on Wednesday — their eighth win in a row.

Ashford (8-1) recorded its sixth consecutive shutout. The Saints haven’t allowed a goal since a win against Cardinal Stritch on Sept. 6.

Ashford received votes in the latest NAIA Top-25 Coaches Poll for the second consecutive week and backed it up with another strong defensive performance.

“We’ve really got into the habit of winning, which is really nice,” Ashford coach Mick Regan said. “We didn’t play exceptionally well today, but it also didn’t look like we were going to lose. I think we’re playing well defensively because of confidence.”

Garcia added her fourth and fifth goals of the young season, breaking through for the game’s first goal in the 11th minute. She added her second goal of the game in the second half as extra insurance against the Rams, who were outshot 22-5.

“Both teams were aggressive today, and both teams really wanted to win this game,” said Garcia, voted MCC Newcomer of the Year last year as a freshman. “If it wasn’t for good crosses and good feeds from the outside by my teammates, I wouldn’t have been able to have this kind of game today.”

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