Kickin' the Steers, 5-2
Martinez, Sturgeon combine for two goals
Lions three-second half scores topples Texas College
HOUSTON, Texas -- "Kickin’ It" is a new Disney comedy based on martial arts. Saturday afternoon at Pride Park the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team was displaying their own version of the same title.
The Lions won their third consecutive match with three second half goals in a 5-2 defeat of Texas College. They are now in fifth place in the 12-team Red River Athletic Conference, the loftiest position they have held this late in the season in years.
Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cypress Creek HS), a 5-foot-10 junior forward scored two more goals, both on assists from freshman Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS).
Martinez has nine goals, tying him for the lead in the RRAC.
New head coach Gerald Nichols has a skilled group who play remarkably well together. SAGU has a 3-1 ledger in the RRAC and are 5-4-2 (won-lost-tied) overall.
The team has battled several injuries in recent weeks; prompting Nichols to say “…we are playing at 75% right now." He did, however, say what is evident to observers.
“We are seeing great combinations and chemistry between the midfield and forwards,” Nichols pointed out. “And the results are better connections on and off the field.”
The first goal was picturesque. Just 11:26 into the game, Parker, a precisioned left-footer, lifted a cornerkick that hooked past several players towards the back post. There, Martinez leapt to head the ball past the goalie for a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later he almost scored again. His blast went off the keeper’s hands and appeared to be rolling towards the line when Joe Ballah (Monrovia, Liberia / Independence HS, Charlotte HS) charged in to remove any doubt. SAGU led 2-0.
The Steers regrouped and knotted the score with 17:07 remaining in the half. Juan Montes got their first tally. Daniel Dominguez added the equalizer on a sensational kick. Following a SAGU turnover on the far right flank, Dominquez unloaded on a deep drive that sliced the air from a sharp angle some 25 yards out. Lions goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) retreated towards the back and still couldn’t reach the blast in the back corner.
Swearingin boot gives SAGU 3-2 lead
Southwestern regained the lead when junior James Swearingin (Arlington, Tx / Home School) booted a pass from Salvador Avila (Irving, Tx / MacArthur HS) in the 58th minute. It would be the game winner.
Martinez benefitted from another sharp-footed Parker cross for a 4-2 advantage to seize complete control of the contest. Only twenty-three minutes remained after the score at 66:58.
The Lions iced things when Jordan Salvato (Springfield, Tx / Central HS) put one in the webbing on an assist by Justin Gonzalez (Irving, Tx / MacArthur HS). The score in the 88th minute finished off Texas College, who are from Tyler.
Southwestern played backup netminder, Cesar Espana (Katy, Tx / Cinco Ranch HS), a 5’11 freshman. He held the Steers scoreless while making three second half saves. Overall, SAGU outshot the Steers by a 21-9 margin and had a 5-1 edge in cornerkicks.
On tap for Thursday: Wiley College
SAGU will face Wiley College on Thursday, October 6. The Wildcats are in their first season of play. Demetrio Hernandez, who served as Texas College’s head coach, is establishing the WC program. The match is set for 3:00pm. Wiley doesn’t currently have a women’s team.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director.