SAGU wins on Garcia OT goal
Lady Lions win 2nd straight shutout
Pena, Garcia connection remains hot!
BETHANY, Oklahoma -- After teaming-up for three goals and four assists on Saturday, the combination of Daniela Garcia and Natalie Pena struck again. Southwestern Assemblies of God University, on the strength of a golden goal by Garcia in the second overtime, defeated Southwestern Christian University by a 1-0 verdict.
The two teams battled to a scoreless draw after 90-minutes of play and through an additional 10-minute overtime. The Lady Lions began the second extra session with their sails full of energy as a result of their off-season conditioning program. It paid off.
Just seconds into the second sudden death period, SAGU delivered the decisive blow! Several quick passes from Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS) to Pena, who tapped the ball back to Garcia at midfield. The feisty middie returned the ball to Pugliese, and then darted downfield towards the box. Pugliese quickly redirected the ball to Pena (Dallas, Tx / Union HS; Tulsa, OK).
She knew who to look for. Pena then lifted a through-ball about five feet high that went past several defenders to Garcia (Tucson, Az / Rio Rico HS), who was open 10-yards from the goal. The senior was one-on-one with the keeper. She made a quick move to her left, which drew the goalie out of position, before kicking in the winner with her right foot.
Thirty seconds into the second OT and it was over.
“Our bench went crazy,” said first year head coach Mandy Fortner. “They all ran onto the field and began hugging Dani, including me,” she said moments afterwards.
The win evened the team’s won-lost record at 2-2. The Lady Lions now have shutout two consecutive opponents.
“While they (SWCU) had the edge for a while,” Fortner acknowledged, “I think we outplayed them over the final 25-30 minutes. Our ladies have worked hard for these kind of moments.”
The defensive stalemate saw the host Eagles own a 10-7 edge in shots on goal. The Lions did force the issue enough to earn seven of the game’s 11 cornerkicks.
Freshman netminder Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) was credited with ten saves in collecting the win. None were bigger than the last one at the end of regulation. She had to dive to her right to snuff-out a kick by an Eagle who had gotten past the SAGU back line at the 12-yard mark.
Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) had a strong game on defense according to Coach Fortner. Southwestern Christian, 5-11-2 in 2010, managed 25 shots, though only ten were on the mark. None got past Shingleton.
The Lions seven shots were distributed among six players, led by Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian), who fired a pair of would-be goals. Ashley Nerat (Menomonee Falls, Wisc / Menomonee Falls HS), Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Faith Christian), Pugliese, Pena and lastly – Garcia, all had one attempt. SAGU attempted 13 total shots, with seven between the pipes.
Garcia's golden goal, the game-winner that ended the contest, meant the Lady Lions have now surpassed last year’s win total (1) and have also eclipsed the team’s total number of goals scored (7). The Cats have twelve games remaining, including the final nine against teams in the Red River Athletic Conference.
“Those are the games that matter most,” Fortner shared. “We’re working hard now to prepare for them.”