Men's Soccer prepares for debut
Pre-Season Poll reveals teams SAGU will face
Lions open season on the road, Friday, Aug. 24
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The men’s soccer program at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has begun pre-season training camp by wasting little time, running eight practices during the past three days.
New head coach Clem Oancea, formerly with the Romanian national team, seeks to elevate the team’s performance this fall into their second straight winning season.
A year ago SAGU went 10-9-5 and advanced to nationals in the National Christian College Athletic Association. The team swept three games to claim the NCCAA Central Regional. At nationals the Lions were 0-2-1.
Coach Oancea (WAHN-cha) believes that spiritual character, purpose and hard work propel the collective efforts of players and teams.
While the teams returns ten players from the 2011 squad, including seven or eight starters, the new strategies of Oancea and the influx of newcomers could produce a new line-up. Whether this year's unit is as aggressive as last year, or become more defensive minded, has yet to be determined.
The Lions have a home scrimmage coming up against the Hill College "Rebels" on Tuesday, August 28. The two-year community college is from nearby Hillsboro, Texas. It is slated for 5:00pm. It will give fans their first look at the new SAGU.
NAIA Coaches Pre-Season Poll
As members of the Red River Athletic Conference, which has 15 members from four states; Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico, the Lions will face a pair of league teams that are currently ranked nationally. Both matches are late in the schedule, each on the road.
Huston-Tillotson University was #13 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coaches Poll, which was released on Tuesday. The Rams posted an 18-3-1 mark last fall. SAGU will meet them in a regular-season finale, October 27, in Austin.
The University of Texas at Brownsville (13-6-2), at #30, will host Southwestern on the border on Oct. 13.
The complete NAIA Coaches Poll is listed below.
Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Ky), the defending national champions, are ranked #1. They were unbeaten a year ago, winning all 23 games on their schedule. They posted 14 shutouts in 2011.
The Blue Raiders have been ranked #1 more than any men’s team in the NAIA, and their championship was the ninth in their school’s history. It is also the sixth time they enter a season (since 2000) as the top-rated team according to Chad Waller, the NAIA’s Director of Communications & Sports Information.
SAGU will have a number of big challenges along the way prior to those statement contests in the closing two weeks of the season.
They open the 2012 campaign next week in Oklahoma City. Mid-America Christian University will entertain the Lions on Friday, August 24, at 4:00pm.
The MACU Evangels were 2-12-3 a year ago, scoring 14 and surrendering 33. They did, however, top the Lions in the season debut, 3-1, in Waxahachie. SAGU regrouped to blank them, 2-0, in the NCCAA Central Regional.
Southwestern booted 47 goals in 2011 but yielded 51.
After a home scrimmage against Hill Community College, from Hillsboro, on Aug. 28. SAGU will play a trio of games on their campus pitch, which is adjacent to the Sheaffer Full Life Center.
Sterling College (Ks) comes to town on Saturday, September 1, followed by Southwestern College (Ks) on Sept. 3 and Louisiana College (NCAA Div. II) on Sept. 8.
Seven of the Lions’ first nine games will be at home, before ending the year with 7-of-9 on the road.
The Lions will have six non-conference games to tune-up before they begin their 11-game league schedule against RRAC competition. Five of those conference matches are at home; three in late September and two in mid-October.
The top six teams in the Red River qualify for the conference post-season tournament. SAGU went 4-5-2 last year, which saw them finish in seventh place. There were 204 men’s teams in the NAIA last autumn. The Lions record had them rated #103.
Of the team’s 47 goals, returning players netted 30. Their current 20-man roster consists of ten veterans from 2011.
Following the Lions' Tracks
Two of their home dates will be broadcast live in high definition by SAGU TV.
All nine home games will be available for fans to follow on a LiveStats webcast. LiveStats is a digital play-by-play account of the action, including team and individual statistics in real time.
2012 Men's Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll
|Rank||School||2011 Record||Total Points in Poll|
|1||Lindsey Wilson (KY)||23-0-0||529|
|3||Southern Poly (GA)||17-3-2||489|
|4||Rio Grande (OH)||19-3-0||479|
|5||William Carey (MS)||16-4-3||465|
|6||Grand View (IA)||18-3-2||439|
|7||Univ. of Science & Arts (OK)||18-5-0||420|
|9||Auburn - Montgomery (AL)||12-5-4||380|
|14||Biola Univ. (CA)||13-5-3||302|
|21||Great Falls (MT)||16-5-0||174|
|22||Clumbia College (MO)||15-3-1||163|
|23||Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ||14-5-2||152|
|25||Saint Xavier (IL)||14-9-0||129|
Others receiving votes: Mount Mercy (Iowa) 100; Vanguard (Ca) 83; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan) 52; Ashford (Iowa) 51; Texas at Brownsville 50; Menlo (Ca) 38; The Master's (Ca) 34; Thomas (Ga) 24; Tennessee Wesleyan 20; Lubbock Christian (Tx) 15; Cumberlands (Ky) 14; Robert Morris (Il) 7; McPherson (Kan) 4; Oklahoma Baptist 3.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of 19 head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season poll will be announced on Sept. 4.