Slow Starting Lady Lions Fall to 0-3 in Soccer
Penalty Kick Sets the Tone in Home Opener
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Sluggish offensive woes helped keep the women's soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University from threatening to score their first goal of the season, thwarting another good defensive effort in a 4-0 setback to the University of Dallas on Saturday.
Attacking the zone less than five minutes into the game the Lady Crusaders, drew a penalty near the goal mouth. It resulted in a penalty kick being awarded to freshman Emily Rogers. She buried it, and the quick 1-0 lead set the tempo for the remainder of the game. By halftime the Saders' advantage had swollen to four goals and they coasted from there, giving new head coach Kristina Corona her a win in her official game on the sidelines.
"The penalty kick put us in a hole that was difficult for us to overcome," said assistant coach Mandy Fortner after the game. "We struggled, but we did manage to hold them well during the second half."
Head Coach Tim Grant's squad, now 0-3 and without a goal in the early phase of the season, can ill-afford to surrender control of the lead until their offense begins to click. The loss ruined the home debut of SAGU's new purple uniforms, which are a hit with the players.
"It seems we didn't start to play real well until the final twenty minutes," Fortner continued. "We were able to knock the ball around a bit, getting some shots and having some flow in our offense."
Developing rythm and executing with nine new players can take more time than desired, but the Lady Lions remain upbeat and focused.
Plugging the Dam on Defense
Meanwhile, the praise of senior goalie Tracy Griffin (Wylie, Tx / Wylie HS) continues. Her play stood out, making critical saves against a team that sent a flurry of shots on goal. Griffin, who led the Red River Athletic Conference in saves last fall, was sporting a new red and black uniform, as keepers can add their own color to identify themselves as the only player who can use their hands. The 5-foot-9 netminder is bent on leading her team to stay out the red, and to finish in the black.
"She had a another great game," Fortner said. "We've have to give her more support on offense than we have so fa, but we'll get it going soon."
Bright Spots for Team Lioness
SAGU made adjustments durng the game to fire-up the offense, and some created sparks.
Natalie Horton (Corsicana, Tx / Corsicana HS), the team's leading scorer as a freshman, was moved from midfielder to forward. She was able to create space, weaving into openings in the Crusaders defense, and was able to launch four second half shots.
Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich), a 5'3 freshman Middie, took the ball up the middle on one possession. Navigating through several defenders, she sent the ball at a sharp angle to Horton, who had gotten her past her defender. The pass led Horton, but the scoring opportunity was snuffed when U-of-D goalie Brigid Hasson just beat her to the coveted sphere before she could tally the Lions first goal.
Madison Wells (Farmers Branch, Tx / R.L. Turner HS), one of three captains on the team, made her first appearance of the 2010 season after having to sit out for a few weeks. The 5'7 senior who scored five goals a year ago, warmed up as the game went on, making her presence felt.
Watch for photos to be uploaded on Monday.
Lady Lions play again, at home, on Monday
Southwestern will get a chance to quickly put the game behind them. On Labor Day, September 6, they play host to Southwestern College at 11:00am. Students can gain free entry to the game during the lunch break by showing their ID card at the gate. The Moundbuilders, from Winfield, Kansas, are 1-0. They started their season on Saturday with a 7-0 triumph against Dallas Christian College.
SAGU has two games next weekend. On Friday they welcome Central Christian College (McPherson, Kansas) for a 3:00pm contest, before travelling to Austin for a 1pm clash against the Concordia University Lady Tornados on Saturday.
CCC's Tigers are 0-0-1 after playing to a scoreless draw with Tabor College (Hillsboro, Ks). C-Tex lost in their opener, 1-0, to University of Houston at Victoria.