Sturgeon keys 4-1 soccer win
Lions upend Houston-Victoria
Familiar combo strikes game-winner
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The stimulus plan for the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team got a much needed spark from an overdue Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS) and he spurred the Lions to an inspiring 4-1 triumph over the University of Houston-Victoria.
The sophomore left-winger had been out of sync until Saturday. He scored a goal and assisted on the game-winner and was generally at the heart of the attack all afternoon.
Sluggish over the previous week, SAGU unleashed a 16-shot attack, including 10 of them on-goal. The victory put the brakes on a two-game losing streak and evened the team’s record at 3-3.
A game that was played at a very swift pace was well defended throughout. A year ago the Jaguars, who are an NAIA independent, defeated the Lions by the same score on the Texas gulf coast. Later in the season UHV had to forfeit five of their wins, including that one.
Saturday’s victory over Victoria showed a stark improvement in the Lions’ play.
Sturgeon, who was second in the Red River Athletic Conference in assists(10) last year, lit up his team with the game’s first goal.
Salvador “Chava” Avila (Irving, Tx / MacArthur HS) zipped a pass from the right side of the box to Sturgeon. He controlled the assist, and then triggered a rising laser from 25 yards out that hooked into the left corner at 28:46 into the game.
The Jags scored the equalizer a minute later when Adrian Mendoza booted a shot past goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) inside the right post.
It remained deadlocked for the next 34 minutes as the defenses thwarted scoring opportunities like wet blankets.
Sturgeon to Martinez is game-winner
What turned out to be the game-winner was a welcomed return of the Sturgeon’s favored target – Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cypress Creek HS).
The senior striker was tops in the RRAC in 2011 in goals and in points, is adorned with a certain department store’s target icon. He is trailed by two defenders if he even sniffs the ball.
Finding a seem in the crease on the right edge of the box, he took a threaded-needle dart from Sturgeon on the left. He gathered it in, pivoted to his left and torpedoed a shot that only the webbing could stop at 63:52.
The Lions’ possession game then took over, squeezing the life out of their red-clad foes. Frustration mounted down the stretch for UHV, who drew four of their five yellow citations, including two in the box.
Lee Kounas (Dallas, Tx / Townview HS) and Robert Ambrosie (Iasi, Romania / Richard Wurmbrand HS), a pair of talented freshmen, iced the game with penalty kicks at 70:35 and 82:46 respectively.
SAGU outshot Houston-Victoria, 16-13, including 10-6 in shots on goal. Their aggression resulted in five of the game’s eight cornerkicks.
This Week: Three games, including two biggies at home
The Lions play Dallas Christian College on the road at 5:00pm on Monday.
They begin the RRAC season with a home match at 1:00pm on Thursday against Northwood University.
A year ago the Lions led the Knights 2-0 before allowing three goals in the final twenty minutes to fall, 3-2. Northwood, from nearby Cedar Hill, finished 9-9 overall and 7-5 in the Red River.
They also have LSU-Shreveport on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm, capping a pair of critically important home games in a span of three days.