LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In a semifinal matchup between first seeded Pacific and fourth seeded Azusa, The Tigers assembled a 12-2 first half to pull ahead and hold the Cougars for a 16-8 finish.
Pacific advances 17-8 on the season. The Tigers advance to the championship round in a rematch against No. 15 LMU for the GCC title. APU drops to 16-15 following the loss.
The Orange and Black got their offense going early on, scoring five straight unanswered goals to start off the first period. Kyra Christmas led the charge for UOP with two goals. Christmas finished with three goals, four points, and two steals for the day.
Pacific outshot the Cougars, 8-2, in the first converting on 2-3 powerplays. Christmas and Mariana Duarte would go on to score two more goals to end the period with the Tigers leading, 7-1.
In the second, Duarte kicked things off with a 7:45 goal to put the Orange and Black up seven. The sophomore attacker matched Christmas with three goals and tallied one steal for Pacific.
Pacific held APU scoreless and added another goal by Viktoria Szmodics to give them it's biggest lead of the day, 12-2, heading into halftime. The Orange and Black had a strong first half going 12-18 from the field with a .667 shooting percentage.
Azusa chipped into the Tiger's lead to open up the second half. The Cougars went on a 4-2 run to cut the margin down to 14-6. Kamryn Lucero tallied a goal at the 6:05 mark and Savannah Fitzgerald followed with a goal at the 4:43 mark during this stretch.
In the fourth period, Fitzgerald and Kennedy Watson scored go-ahead goals to push Pacific's lead to 16-8.
The Orange and Black will be taking on LMU for the second time this season. In their first meeting on March 23rd, Pacific used a second half push to beat out San Diego, 11-6.
Live stats for the GCC Championship match will be provided via FOSH.net.