Bacone slips by SAGU in 2 OT's, 2-1
Defensive injuries, breakdowns costly
Lions look to rebound on Saturday in Tyler
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -- The persistent men’s soccer team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University are running through a stretch of bad road. The good news is they continue to persevere and drive.
Thursday afternoon in northeastern Oklahoma they ran into familiar speed bumps during a road game in the Red River Athletic Conference.
Nursing a 1-0 lead into the final stages of the game the Lions yielded a late score, then another in the closing minutes of a 2-1, double-overtime defeat at the hands of Bacone College.
Southwestern’s possession game excelled through much of the game. It resulted in numerous chances to score, but each was turned away by a good Warriors defense.
After an hour of a scoreless tie, SAGU struck for the lead.
Freshman forward Robert Ambrosie (Iasi, Romania / Richard Wurmbrand HS) advanced past a pair of defenders, navigating the maze to draw in the coverage. From the left, he then sent a cross directly to Jonathan Ramos (Tegucigalpa, Honduras / Garringer HS) over the middle.
The talented sophomore, open in the seam, took it in stride and banged it home. By finishing the play with an exclamation mark, the Jungle Kings were in position to roar!
The score came 73:35 into the match, leaving just 16:25 on the clock.
Reports from the Bacone sideline stated the Lions appeared in control over the next ten minutes. As they have on several other occasions, they failed to hold the lead down the stretch. The missed opportunities on offense came back to haunt them when the defense blew a tire in an unexpected pothole.
“We dominated the game,” said SAGU Head Coach Clem Oancea. “We had so many opportunities, but somehow we just did not take care of it and put the game away.”
Following an injury to defender Will Elliott (Mesquite, Tx / Cathedral of Praise Academy), the Warriors recoiled and scored the equalizer. Michael Oguntimehin scored easily on a breakaway at 81:54.
In overtime the Purple Pride lost another defenseman, Salvador Avila (Irving, Tx / MacArthur HS). There was no scoring, but the Lions were not maintaining possession as much. The Warriors were seizing the opportunity. Four of the six fouls called in OT were against the Lions.
When James Swearingin (Arlington, Tx / Home School) went down in the second O.T., it meant three late defensive changes in a deadlocked game. Three minutes from escaping with a 1-1 tie, the Warriors rang the death knell.
A cornerkick was fired in the direction of BC’s Greg Cawley, a sophomore from Manchester, England, who tried to score on a header. It wasn't close.
The carom, however, was deflected and, when SAGU failed to clear the ball, it was booted into the net by Bolivia’s Juan Alborta.
The game winning score came after 106:37 of a well-fought match.
“The lessons we must learn from this trip,” according to Coach Oancea, are to finish your opponent earlier.”
“Secondly, we must find a way a way to play through pain. Fatigue, too, is something we must learn to overcome.”
Three conference losses in a row is something the Lions do want to get tired of.
The squad, with five losses in their last seven contests, has dropped three one-goal defeats, two in double overtime. Three times in the past three weeks they held a late lead only lose it on defensive errors.
The Lions outshot the Warriors 20-16, including 12-7 in the second half. Ten different players fired at least one shot.
The ‘Cats earned a whopping 8-3 advantage in cornerkicks. In the end, without any margin of error, a pair of unassisted goals did them in.
Mapping the path
SAGU looked to contend in the RRAC, as well as the National Christian College Athletic Association. The detours of defeat have made getting there tougher to steer. But there is still time.
The Pride, now 4-6 overall and 0-3 in the league, are tied with three other clubs in the bottom of the Red River. Previously winless Bacone improved to 1-7 and 1-2.
SAGU will be in Tyler, Texas on Saturday for a 3:00pm clash with Texas College. The Steers are 1-8 and 0-3.
The next home match is Thursday, October 4, when Wiley College calls for a 3pm date.
Special Thanks: Kyle Taylor, Bacone's S.I.D., for action photos from the match.