Saints tame Lions, 2-0, in soccer
SAGU shutout in key RRAC contest
UT-Brownsville next on Saturday
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team dropped a physical, hard-fought 2-0 decision to Our Lady of the Lake University this afternoon.
The Lions, who have painted themselves in a corner with recent struggles against vulnerable teams in the Red River Athletic Conference, entered their final five games of the regular season needing crucial wins to earn a berth in the RRAC tournament. Team Purple was outshot in the first half by a 10-1 count.
Southwestern, who had the league’s highest-scoring offense, were shutout for the second consecutive game and have netted one goal in the past three combined.
OLLU, the first place team in the league, scored just fifteen seconds into the game. They added another goal prior to halftime, and held off a frenzied Lions attack in the second half.
The Saints won their fifth straight to improve to 8-4-1 overall. They are 7-0 in the Red River. After a 1-4 start, the Halos have claimed victories by one goal in five outings as their defense has stood tall in tight games.
SAGU is now 6-8 in all games and are in eighth place with a 2-5 mark in conference play. Only the top six teams earn a post-season position in the RRAC tournament.
The Lions surrendered the game’s first goal just fifteen seconds after the National Anthem ended. A defensive breakdown was quickly taken advantage of by an aggressive Saints attack, with midfielder Marcelo Chapa passing to Robert Alexe.
His second goal of the season completely set the tone of a match the Lions needed to win. OLLU didn’t allow the guests to ever get started until after intermission.
They tacked on another goal at 38:42 into the game. Forward Aaron Guerrero scored his 10th goal thanks to the first assist of the year from Luis Flores.
Guerrero tallied for the fifth game in a row, coinciding with the Halos’ 5-game winning streak. They are now 8-4-1 overall and 7-0 in the RRAC.
The blue-clad hosts have now scored 24 and yielded 24 during the season, yet have turned an 18-8 edge against RRAC teams into the league lead.
Southwestern, with a sense of urgency, got it going in the second half. They outshot the Saints 9-8 in the final 45 minutes, and their assertive play generated all six of the game’s cornerkicks after recess.
The Lions were unable to put anything past the Saints keeper, Martin Hannson. The 5’10 Sweden-born goalie picked up his first shutout of the fall.
Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cy-Creek HS), Lee Kounas (Dallas, Tx /Townview HS) and Joel Ramirez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) each took two shots apiece, as SAGU registered 10, seven on goal. Our Lady had 18 and 14.
Martinez, the RRAC's defending scoring champion, is still hobbled by an ankle injury. The senior has scored just once in the eight games since the injury.
"We had some opportunities," said Assistant Coach Alex Vazquez. "But each time their keeper made a super save."
Three attempts that appeared destined to connect the ball with twine were stymied by Hannsen. He 'M-bopped' all three.
Robert Ambrosie (Iasi, Romania / Richard Wurmbrand HS ) nearly cashed in on a great Ramirez cross from the right side. The goalie dove and knocked the ball out just as it was sniffing the goal line.
Later, Kounas was in position to score only to be denied. A 25-yard volley shot by Will Elliott (Mesquite, Tx / Cathedral of Praise Academy ) was also grabbed by the net-minder, who deserved the result.
The defensive battle saw OLLU get cited for nine of the game’s 17 fouls, though SAGU collected four of the six yellow cards. The Lions had averaged just 1.3 yellows per match entering the game.
One major moment for the defense was the save made on a penalty kick by sophomore goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS).
Southwestern is 0-3-1 against the Saints over the past four seasons.
Team Purp will face the University of Texas at Brownsville on Saturday at 1:00pm. The Scorpions are 7-3-3 in all games, 6-1 against league competition after a huge 3-2, double overtime win over Huston-Tillotson University (5-1-4, 3-1-3 in RRAC) on Thursday evening.
SAGU, with four games remaining, will require several wins to make the RRAC tournament. The Lions are currently tied with Bacone College (2-11, 2-5 RRAC) in eighth place.
Lions Final Four Games
Oct. 13 @ UT-Brownsville (7-3-3), 1pm. Lions 0-3.
Oct. 18 Texas Wesleyan (6-4-2), 1pm. Lions 0-2.
Oct. 20 Univ. of the Southwest (5-6-1), 2pm. Lions 2-1.
Oct. 27 @ Huston-Tillotson (5-1-4), 1pm. Lions 0-3.
Note: The Lions' record against the final four teams over the past three seasons is listed on the right.