Espana blanks Crusaders, 2-0
Lions win, prepare for RRAC season
Ramos, Elliott goals power SAGU to victory
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University Head Coach Clem Oancea used Monday’s 2-0 win over Dallas Christian College to tune-up his troops for the start of league play in the Red River Athletic Conference.
The Lions thoroughly controlled the game enough that Oancea (WAHN-cha) could play his entire bench, rest a few frontline players and even allow regular goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) to play in the field.
Facing the Crusaders in the Flower Mound area northwest of Dallas, the Lions, now 4-3, governed the action with a 28-4 margin in shots fired.
Lost in the effort were a few shots that hit the post. The team made a penalty kick that was subsequently nullified by the official.
When he issued a re-kick, it went begging as it passed the goalpost.
With sophomore keeper Cesar Espana (Katy, Tx (El Salvador) / Cinco Ranch HS) in goal, the club saw no drop-off in performance. He snuffed out the four shots that got through the defensive line.
Senior David Flores (San Miguel, El Salv., Farmers Branch, Tx/ RL Turner HS) was on the sidelines for a respite. It was the team’s first shutout of the season.
SAGU starts the RRAC season this week with two home dates against top-level foes. On Thursday the Lions host Northwood University before LSU-Shreveport comes calling on Saturday. Both are set for 1:00pm (CST) starts.
Normally the men's team plays after the women's team. Each of the two matches, against Northwood and LSUS, are on tap before the Lady Lions action.
There are four teams in the Red River who are currently ahead of SAGU in the league standings; Huston Tillotson University is 2-0-1, LSU-Shreveport at 4-2-0, Texas Wesleyan University 2-1-1 and 15th ranked UT-Brownsville. The Scorpions are 1-2-3 entering conference play.
The Lions took a 1-0 lead midway into the first half when Jonathan “Colocho” Ramos (Tegus, Honduras,Charlotte,NC / Garringer HS) delivered. He was set up by James Swearingin (Arlington, Tx / Home School), who had the ball to the left of the box.
He sent a pass to Ramos, who was 22-yards out. He touched the ball once before cranking a screamer that eluded the keeper to the top, right corner. Earlier in the game he twice hit the post.
The second score provided enough breathing room to mesh the full squad into the action.
Coach Oancea has been pleased with the effort, attitude and the technical play of sophomore Jose Hernandez (Dallas, Tx / Skyline HS). He started Saturday’s 4-1 win over Houston-Victoria.
Galvan, enjoying some spirited play on the pitch, notched his first career assist on a tally by Will Elliott (Mesquite, Tx / Cathedral of Life Christian). In producing his first goal, Elliott received a well-timed pass from Galvan, dribbled in for a better shot, and then uncorked it from 12-yards away.
So powerful was the blast that it deflected off the left leg of a defender on the left, across the goal mouth and just inside the right post.
Assistant Coach Alex Vazquez reported that the squad played fairly well considering the mixed line-up.
He also cited the overall labor of Ramos, who excels as a passer and scorer.
Southwestern has won the past three games in the series with Dallas Christian. Including the 2-0 triumph, the Lions took the 2010 meeting by a 3-1 count as well as the 2009 affair, 2-1.
The last time the 'Saders prevailed was in 2007 when they trimmed the Lions with a 3-1 verdict.
Dating back to 2004 the two teams have played five times, with SAGU holding a 3-1-1 edge. They tied in 2006, 3-3.