It is still early in the season, but the Azusa Pacific University football team can already surpass its win total of last year with a victory over Whittier College at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Whittier.
Azusa Pacific, which won only two games last season, enters Saturday's game with a 2-1 record. Whittier is also 2-1.
Azusa Pacific suffered its first defeat in a one-point loss to Humboldt State (13-12) last week while Whittier rolled to a 50-10 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Whittier lost to Humboldt, 37-14, two weeks ago.
If past performances are indicative, Azusa Pacific could have problems against Whittier because the Poets hold a 10-5 advantage in the overall series including a 15-12 win last season.
However, Azusa Pacific has improved over last year on offense and defense.
The Cougars have been led on offense by the passing of sophomore quarterback Brian Hunt, a transfer from Brigham Young University, and running backs Brent Hamm and Jim Brewer. Hunt has passed for 470 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Azusa Pacific's leaders on defense are linebacker Jeff Gustin (6-1, 210) and defensive tackles Gary Willison (6-4, 255) and Don Arter (6-2, 260).
In other games matching four-year colleges at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, La Verne (0-3) hosts Occidental (2-1) in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (0-3) goes against Trinity of Texas and Pomona-Pitzer (1-2) is at home against the University of San Diego in non-conference games.
Claremont will be bidding for its first win of the season after winning the SCIAC title two years in a row. The Stags have been outscored 96-29 in their first three games.
La Verne is also hoping for its first win but the Leopards could have problems against Occidental, one of the favorites to win the SCIAC title. La Verne has been outscored 75-17 in its first three game, including a 24-0 loss to Menlo last week.
After struggling to two losses and a tie last week, the Cal Poly Pomona women's soccer team will try to get back on the winning track with a game against UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Kellogg Field in Pomona.
But Santa Barbara does not figure to be an easy test, either. The Gauchos, an NCAA Division I team, entered this week with a 7-2 record and are 7-0 against the Broncos in the series.
Pomona, ranked No. 3 in Division II before its problems of last week, has a 4-4-2 record. In last week's games, the Broncos lost to Cal State Dominguez Hills (2-0) and UC San Diego (1-0) and tied St. Mary's (2-2) in overtime.
Considering that only four teams are expected to advance to the Division II playoffs in November, Coach Brian Wiesner said the losses may hurt Pomona's post-season chances.
"We have to depend on a lot of other teams now and not just what we do on the field," Wiesner said. "We have to beat Santa Barbara. We're hoping that all of our bad luck has run out and that on Saturday things will go our way."
The Broncos have been led in scoring by sophomore forward Amy Johnson, who has 4 goals and 2 assists for 10 points.
Janet Nicolls and Karen Farley, both former track stars at Cal Poly Pomona, have been named assistant coaches at the school.
Farley, who holds the school's second-fastest ever time of 2:10.60 in the 800-meter run and is fifth best in cross-country at 17:55.0, was selected as an assistant in track and cross-country and Nicolls, the 1984 NCAA Division II champion in the heptathlon, will assist in track.
In addition to her success at Pomona, Nicolls qualified for the 1984 U.S. Olympic trials in the heptathlon and high jump and also for the 1988 trials in the heptathlon.
"I'm looking forward to working with the caliber of athlete that Cal Poly possesses," Nicolls said. "They have quite a few All-Americans and a good coaching staff and it will be a pleasure working with them."
It will be a match-up of two of the top 10 ranked men's cross-country teams in the NCAA Division II when Cal Poly Pomona hosts rival Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in a dual meet at 10 a.m. Saturday in Pomona.
San Luis Obispo enters the meet ranked No. 6 in Division II and Pomona is No. 9.
Pomona finished seventh of 18 teams at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego last week. Leading the way for the Broncos were Eddie Toro with a time of 32:13.6 in the 10-K and Steven Franke at 32:14.5.