Late lapses send Lions under, 4-1
Four goals in nine minutes sink 'Cats
SAGU seeks to restore the roar
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A hard-fought, uneventful first half gave way to some spectacular goals in a twelve minute time span on a very warm fall Saturday.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University and LSU-Shreveport were locked in a dead heat in near 100 degree temps when both teams broke the scoreless fever.
The host Lions struck first on a perfectly executed cornerkick from the southeast corner of the field. A pair of freshmen, Lee Kounas (Dallas, Tx / Townview HS) and Joel Ramirez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) connected at 53:36 into the game to end the draw.
What happened next was unexpected and was as hard to describe as the taste of an oyster.
LSU-Shreveport, who entered the game having scored just nine goals in seven games, erupted for four in nine minutes to upend what had been a well-played defensive stalemate.
The Pilots went on to post a 4-1 win that improved their overall record to 5-2-1 and their ledger in the Red River Athletic Conference to 1-0-1.
SAGU, expected to be a contender in the RRAC, has struggled mightily in slipping to last place with an 0-2 league mark.
The Lions are 4-5 in all games; scoring 22 goals, yielding 20. They have lost four of their last six games in which they have surrendered 17 goals.
Last season they were 4-3-2 at the same point in the season (goals 20, allowed 17)
Southwestern shook up their line-up on Saturday, going instead with five substitutes. They were sans some of the top scorers and their regular net-minder.
Surprisingly, the starting unit appeared to play cohesively and was pitching a shutout until the early stages of the second half.
Sophomore goalie Cesar Espana (Katy, Tx / Cinco Ranch HS) shone brightly. He turned away nine shots on goal. The defensive breakdowns left him helpless with gaping holes in the back wall.
Backup defenseman Jose Hernandez (Dallas, Tx / Skyline HS) seemed to exemplify the desired hustle and team play. The sophomore was active and energetic.
The Lions scored when Kounas (KOO-nahs) sent a looping liner towards the goal mouth with a kick from the corner. It split a seam of players and bounced directly to Ramirez, who was positioned to the outside of the far right post.
He one-timed the ball down at a 45 degree angle, springing up past a defender and the keeper, Lance Quini (KWIN-ee), as though the ball had eyes.
Whether the score awakened the Pilots and prompted such relief from the hosts, the resulting aftermath defied logic.
The River Pilots answered with textbook passes to teammates who were unshielded by the defense. They quickly deposited their kicks as though at a bank at closing time.
Nelson Zelaya tied the game when he received bang-bang passes from Nate Gurinsky on a free kick from outside the box to Ruben Mendoza. Zelaya had an easy shot from the right side at 56:45 into the game.
Just over a minute later, the Pilots had a 2-1 lead. A corner by Mendoza to Sam Stanford was headed into the post, and then bounded straight to Zelaya, who was unguarded again. Bang! Goal at 58:06.
The floodgates were open.
LSUS added goals by Brian McKay (63:28) and Alan Arroyo (65:04) to seal the deal. The first three goals were tallied by non-starters.
The Pilots finished with a 21-7 advantage in shots taken, including a huge 13-1 margin in shots on goal.
So out of sync are the Lions that Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cy-Creek HS), the leading scorer in the RRAC last season and so far this season, has managed to take only one shot in the last three games combined.
The contest witnessed two teams play aggressively and with plenty of sportsmanship, until the closing minutes when things were a tad chippy. Seven cards were issued, four against LSUS, along with a pair of red cards, one to each team.
Sixteen fouls were charged to the Lions, 14 to the visitors. A year ago at The Swamp in Shreveport, SAGU came away with a 2-1 triumph. This time the Pilots turned the tables on the Pride.
SAGU hopes to use the coming days to regroup for the remainder of their nine RRAC games.
They return to action with a pair of road tilts on Thursday and Saturday. They travel to Muskogee, Oklahoma on September 27 to face Bacone College (0-7, 0-2 RRAC) at 1:00pm (CST). The Warriors were 6-10-1 last fall
Two days later the Lions will be in Tyler to take on Texas College (1-7, 0-2).
The following week SAGU will take on the other two teams they are knotted with at the bottom of the RRAC.
The chance to pull together, mend and ‘right their ship’ against the teams they are currently tangled with in the standings couldn’t be better timed.
Accessing photos of Lions
Photos of Saturday’s game against LSU-Shreveport are now available to view and/or to purchase at the website of Moving Pictures (Steve Patterson) at: www.movingpictures.photoreflect.com
Other games from earlier in the season are also available, along with other SAGU sports.
Current RRAC Standings
|Team||Mascot||Location||RRAC Record||Overall Record|
|Texas Wesleyan||Rams||Ft Worth, TX||2-0-0||4-2-1|
|Univ of the Southwest||Mustangs||Hobbs, NM||2-0-0||3-2-3|
|Our Lady of the Lake||Saints||San Antonio, TX||2-0-0||3-4-1|
|Northwood Univ||Knights||Cedar Hill, TX||1-0-1||5-2-1|
|Huston-Tillotson Univ||Rams||Austin, TX||0-0-2||2-0-3|
|Univ of St Thomas||Celts||Houston, TX||0-2-0||2-5-0|
|Texas College||Steers||Tyler, TX||0-2-0||1-7-0|
|Wiley College||Wildcats||Marshall, TX||0-2-0||0-6-0|
|Bacone College||Warriors||Muskogee, OK||0-2-0||0-7-0|
Visit www.redriverconference.com for current standings, schedules, results, rosters and official team and player statistics from the NAIA.