Southwestern goes down in shootout
Cabrera, Hernandez score in 2-2 tie
Oakland City wins on penalty kick shootout, 5-3
KISSIMMEE, Florida -- The #8 seeded Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team fought back from a 2-0 deficit against the #5 Oakland City University to finish regulation deadlocked in a 2-2 tie. Following a pair of scoreless overtime periods, the Lions missed one penalty kick and it was all that the Mighty Oaks needed to advance with a shootout win on Thursday at the NCCAA soccer championships.
OCU (11-6-2) made their first four kicks from the penalty spot, which is 12-yards in front of the goal, while SAGU made good on their first three. Matt Ball, their goalie, dove to his right and made a save on a Rolando Hernandez (Hidalgo, Michoacan; Mex / Garringer HS, Charlotte, NC) shot for a 4-3 lead heading into the final round.
The Oaks then clinched the win, 5-3, by making their fifth attempt. It rendered the Lions without a kick as the two-goal advantage was enough with a lone attempt unnecessary. SAGU’s record is now 10-8-5. Both teams were shutout the night before.
Lions face Lancers, Saturday, 11:15am
The Lions next game will for 7th place on Saturday at 11:15am (CST). The only contest during the NCCAA tournament not broadcasted will be this game. The Lions opponent will be Grace College (10-9-4), the #6 seed. The lost to #3 Judson University, 3-2, in double overtime, and 5-3 to the #2 seeded Palm Beach Atlantic University on Thursday.
SAGU’s attack was held in check for the second straight game at the National Christian College Athletic Association’s 8-team tournament to determine a national champion. On Wednesday they fell to the #1 seed, California Baptist University, 3-0, who outshot the Purple Pride by a 22-8 count.
This afternoon, the Mighty Oaks controlled the ball and the pace of the game. They governed the Lions’ counter-attacks by keeping them on a short leash during their sideline marches. During the first half they took a 2-0 lead on a pair of early goals (both in the first 30 minutes) while building a 9-1 lead in shots.
Southwestern fought gallantly to get back in the game. The Lions defense was under siege but refused to allow the team from Indiana to score a decisive third goal. Goalkeeper Cesar Galvan (Allen, Tx / Lovejoy HS) was at his best, being credited with 10 saves.
Finally, SAGU struck gold!
Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS) sent a cornerkick into the box where senior Sam Cabrera (Tampa, Fla / Tampa Baptist) scored on a sharply timed header. The tally at the 63:30 mark filled the Southwestern sails!
While the defense was contesting a steady assault; OCU finished with a 24-9 dominance in shots, the Lions looked to maximize their opportunities. Coach Gerald Nichols’ squad may have seen limited chances, their 8-2 advantage in cornerkicks during regulation revealed they were on the offensive. Thirteen minutes later they struck again!
Hernandez, the sophomore middie, parlayed a pass from Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cy-Creek HS) into the equalizer at 76:29.
SAGU battled to keep the Oaks from retaking the lead. The defensive troops were in full force, though officials cited their every infraction. The Lions were called for 18 fouls, compared to just 7 against Oakland City. Plus, all four yellow cards were called against the team wearing the same color – SAGU.
When the captain, Cabrera drew his second yellow, the team had to play shorthanded for the latter stages of the game, and all of the two overtimes. The center officials gave him the first following his celebration after his goal. He will have to sit out the final game in Orlando as well.
Undermanned, the Lions had little prospects of mounting much of an attack. They managed just one shot in the two overtimes, while OCU had three and both of the cornerkicks awarded by officials.
The contest ended in a 2-2 draw, SAGU’s fifth tie this season.
In the penalty kick shootout, the Mighty Oaks shot first, making each attempt in their first four rounds. The Purple Pride answered with goals by Jonathan Ramos (Tegucilgapas, Honduras / Garringer HS, Charlotte, NC), a high blast from Will Elliot (Mesquite, TX / Cathedral of Life Christian School) and sharp laser by Alex Vazquez (Mexico City, Mex / Midwestern State Univ).
Hernandez was fourth in line, and his try, a low torpedo to the right, was snared by the OCU keeper; Ball, a 5’11 junior from Newcastle, England, is one of 19 international players on the Oaks roster.
In the 'nick' of time
Nick Little (Renfrewshire, Scotland), who led all players with six shots during the match, won it with a well-placed boot that rang the death knell on the Lions.
It was a well-earned triumph for the club from Hoosierland. They took 24 shots, 12 of them on goal. They limited SAGU to 9 shots, just five on target.
The Lions’ starters got only four (Ramos 2, Cabrera 1, Hernandez 1) as the Oaks blanketed Martinez. SAGU’s reserves fired five shots; Joe Ballah (Monrovia, Liberia / Independence HS, Charlotte, NC) led with 3, Elliot 1, Jordan Salvato (Springfield, TX / Central HS).
#7 Geneva College 1-0 over #2 Palm Beach Atlantic University
#3 Judson University 3-2 over #6 Grace College in 2 OT’s
#1 California Baptist University 3-0 over SW Assemblies of God University
#4 Cedarville University 2-0 over #5 Oakland City University
#2 Palm Beach Atlantic University 5-3 over #6 Grace College
#5 Oakland City University 2-2 tie versus SW Assemblies of God Univ; OCU wins in PK’s, 5-3
#7 Geneva College 2-1 over #3 Judson University in OT
#1 California Baptist University 0-0 tie vs. #4 Cedarville University; CBU wins in PK’s, 2-1
Day Three: Saturday, Dec. 3
Seventh Place: 11:15am (CST)
#6 Grace College (10-9-4) vs. #8 SW Assemblies of God Univ (10-8-5)
Fifth Place: 9:00am (CST)
#2 Palm Beach Atlantic University (13-8-0) vs. #5 Oakland City University (11-6-2)
Third Place: 11:15am (CST)
#3 Judson University (14-9-1) vs. #4 Cedarville University (14-6-2)
Finals: 4:30pm (CST)
#1 California Baptist Univ (16-5-1) vs. #7 Geneva College (16-5-3)