Bethany College scores in 85th Minute, wins 1-0 

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Bethany College blanked the Lady Lions in a contest between a pair of collegiate women's soccer teams that have to scramble to score goals.

The Swedes, 2-4, booted in the game's lone goal after 85 minutes of a scoreless draw. The kick, with 5:05 remaining by freshman forward Riley Council, was enough to ensure goalie Sarah Garlock a shutout triumph.

Council, from Las Vegas, Nevada, was wide open in the middle of the box when she took a pass. "She got a good pass," said SAGU senior captain Madison Wells (Farmers Branch, Tx / R.L. Turner HS) "right at the penalty kick area. It was one-on-one with our keeper, and she kicked it to the right post."

Wells said Lady Lions' goalkeeper Tracy Griffin (Wylie, Tx / Wylie HS) "hardly had a chance to stop a shot from that close."

Less than a minute earlier, according to Wells, Bethany should have broken the deadlock with a goal. "If it weren't for a great save by Griffin," she pointed out. "We've simply got to give her some support on offense."

Scoring Dearth

Bethany, from Lindsborg, Kansas, made the 430 mile trip worth the taking. They had the slimmest of margins in shots, 7-6, over SAGU, who fell to 1-6 for the season. The Swedes entered the match having been outscored 23 to 3, with two shutouts. Team Lioness had a 19-2 deficit in goals scored. It was Southwestern's sixth shutout setback, with three of them coming as narrow, 1-0 defeats.

No Lack of Resistance

Coach Tim Grant's Purple Pride have made solid progress, primarily on defense. With Griffin as the last means of preventing opponents from reaching the net, defenders on the back line, as well as midfielders who excel in takeaways, SAGU has shown obvious improvement. In the program's first three years, under former coach Jeremy Tosaya, they yielded 119 goals in 2006, 82 in 2007 and 70 in the Lions' third season of play (2008).

With Griffin, Sarah Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) and the since-graduated Leah Richardson, SAGU reduced their yield by 26 goals in 2009 with only 44 goals against. That translates to 2.75, and it allowed the team to stay competitive in much of the season. This season has been very similar, surrendering only 2.85 tallies per ninety minutes (two 45-minute halves).

Arresting Injuries

To be fair to the offense, three of the squad's top four point producers from last fall have been hindered by injuries. Wells, herself, missed three games, and has yet to fully recover. Daniela Garcia (Tuscon, Az / Rio Rico HS) had a badly sprained ankle three weeks ago that has sidelined her ever since. Natalie Horton (Corsicana, Tx / Corsicana HS), who led the team with six goals as a freshman in 2009, has been burdened by a nagging quad injury. She has, however, played through the pain.

The Lady Lions are not lacking in effort, even with the offensive draught. Last week they fell at home, 1-0, even though they dominated possession and had an 18-8 advantage in shots.

Tuesday's Home Game Fit to be Tied

SAGU returns to action on Tuesday, September 21, when they play host to Southwestern Christian University. The game will begin at 5:00pm. SCU is 0-6-1, with some similarities to the Lady Lions. Both squads lost to Mid-America Christian, SCU by a 1-0 vedict, SAGU by 6-0. Each team fell to Central Christian College by identical 1-0 scores.

Things in common goes much closer. The Eagles and Lions have both played seven matches, scored two goals and given up 20. Southwestern Christian is from Bethany, Oklahoma, just west of OKC, 220 miles from Waxahachie. The SAGU Lions will not be playing on Tuesday. Both will be on the road together two days later for a twi-night doubleheader.

Thursday Road Trip to Nearby Keene

This Thursday, Sept. 23, the Lady Lions will make a short trek to Keene, Texas for a 7:00pm clash with Southwestern Adventist University. Keene is 28 miles southwest of Waxahachie on Highway 67. It is between Midlothian and (closer to) Cleburne.

What follows is a short break before the Lady Lions host Northwood University on Sept. 30. That will be the first of nine games in the Red River Athletic Conference, four of which will be played at Southwestern Field.

The team hopes to either reschedule their game at Dallas Christian College or pick up a forfeit victory. The game has been postponed twice already, each time on the day of.