Men's Soccer hosts Bacone
Take 5 with Coach Nichols
Key home games Thursday and Saturday
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The men’s soccer team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University are facing a mid-season series of games that could well determine their fate.
The Lions are 3-4-2 overall and are in fifth at 1-1 in the Red River Athletic Conference. They play host to Bacone College (2-4-1, 0-1-1 in RRAC) on Thursday at 3:00pm, and then welcome Texas College (1-6, 1-1) to Lions Pride Park on Saturday, October 1, also at 3pm.
SAGU lost to both teams last fall, 5-1 at Bacone and 4-3 in Tyler to Texas College. A reversal of fortunes this year could put Southwestern on a course for post-season life.
New head coach, Gerald Nichols, sat down this week for a "Take 5" list of questions to assess his team.
Nine games down with nine to play. What are your team's strengths and weaknesses?
GN : “Our strength is that we can control the ball very well. The guys are motivated to do better than last year and we’re building confidence in our own abilities to play well. As for areas that need growth. Health. We’re getting players back to full strength from injury. Plus, we must play well enough to finish teams off in the second half”
How healthy is your team?
GN: “Manny Paz and Will Elliott are not back to full strength yet. Some others have daily nicks and scrapes, but on the whole, we’re pretty healthy.”
What are the areas of play that have shown the most improvement over the past six weeks?
GN : “We have come together nicely as a team. Our chemistry has improved and we have bonded and cemented together. Both coaching staff and players are getting to know one another and it is really fun. Our level of play has improved tremendously from last year, primarily because of all the new players.”
Which player has been a pleasant surprise?
GN: “Being new here, every player is a surprise to me. But Parker Sturgeon has done quite well. Parker has a great work-rate and can create a lot of havoc for the opponent’s defense. He creates many scoring opportunities for us.”
Which players are considered your primary scoring threats?
GN: Danny (Martinez) is always dangerous. He is strong and holds the ball well. And he has a wicked shot! Joe (Ballah ) played really well in Shreveport (a 2-1 win over LSU-Shreveport) and may have won his starting position back for Thursday. Joe is fast and has a hard shot. Simply put, Parker creates! He opens doors for others on the offense.”
Fitted for a Redshirt: A playmaking forward, Carlos Gonzalez, will sit out this seasonas a redshirt. The colorful Gonzalez had an eligibility issue with the NAIA after transferring.
NCCAA Central Regional: Southwestern will be hosting this event for National Christian College Athletic Association on November 17-19. The winner will advance to nationals in Orlando, Florida during November 30-December 3.
Current Records of men’s teams in the Central includes: Oklahoma Wesleyan 6-3, Central Christian College (Ks) 5-3, Central Baptist College (Ark) 3-4-1, Mid-American Christian (Ok) 2-3-1, SAGU 3-4-2, Southwestern Christian University (Ok) 2-5-2, York College (Neb) 2-5-1, Crowley’s Ridge (Ark) 0-2, Colorado Christian College (0-8-1).
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