Today's soccer game times reversed
Lions host Northwood at 1:00pm
Lady Lions play at 3pm as RRAC season begins
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The start of the Red River Athletic Conference season begins today. Southwestern Assemblies of God University hosts Northwood University in a college soccer doubleheader.
In a time reversal of the normal order of play, the SAGU men’s team will at 1:00pm (CST), and will be followed by the women’s game at 3:00pm. The soccer pitch is located* on campus at 1200 Sycamore Street.
Saturday’s schedule will be a repeat, when LSU-Shreveport visits Waxahachie.
While the Lady Lions soccer program is much younger, having begun in 2006, the Lions are expected to contend for the RRAC championship this fall. How they begin may be critical to their chances.
Teams play 11 league games with the top six qualifying for the RRAC tournament.
After taking on Northwood and LSUS, Southwestern will hit the road for four of their next six contests.
In 2011 the Lions went 4-5-2 against conference foes, enjoying several huge moments along with some painful lows.
Northwood, who has taken the past five games in the series, was a mixture of both. Playing masterfully through the first seventy minutes, the Lions were in command with a 2-0 lead. The final twenty minutes saw the Knights regroup and stun SAGU with three goals.
The Knights have gotten off to a slow start at 1-4. Against some stiff competition the offense has shown the need for lubrication. At 4-3, the Lions have been inconsistent.
Whoever can mount a 90-minute effort and escape with a win today could well be on their way towards a successful season.
SAGU hopes to return David Flores (San Miguel, El Salvador / RL Turner HS) and have a healthy Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cypress Creek HS) back in the line-up today. The former is a physical defender while the latter leads the RRAC in goals (6) scored. Both provide a great deal of senior leadership.
Southwestern's possession game will be the Lions' focus, as will avoiding defensive breakdowns that have occasionally plagued the squad.
The Lady Lions (1-6) figure to have their hands full against Northwood (3-3) at 3:00pm.
SAGU has yet to win in the series, dropping the last five by a combined 24-1 margin in scoring. Team Lioness fell in 2011 by a 4-0 count and hasn't registered a goal since 2007.
Defensively, the game could be fairly even. Southwestern yields 2.29 goals per game compared to Northwood's 1.33.
SAGU goalie Hayley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) may hold the key. The sophomore netminder has allowed just one goal over the past two games.
Southwestern is led in scoring by junior forward Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS). She has tallied three times.
She led SAGU to an 8-0 triumph over Dallas Christian College on Monday.
All eyes will be on Northwood's #10, Natalie Carter. She leads the league with seven goals and has two assists. The 5'8 senior is from Cedar Hill, Texas.
Results, recaps and photos of today’s action will be posted on-line this evening.
*Directions from I-35 South: Exit onto Hwy 287 headed east towards Corsicana. Take the first exit at Hwy 77 (Main Street) and drive south (right) towards downtown Waxahachie. Turn right onto E.University (after Burger King).
The east entry is on the right, one block after crossing John Arden Rd. Two rights, a left and a right will take drivers behind the Sheaffer Center, where football, soccer, baseball and softball fields are located. Enter at the green concessions barn.
Waxahachie (WAHK-sah-hatch-ee) is 25 miles south of Dallas.