Lions stung at the border
Quan, Kounas team-up for lone goal
SAGU home on Thursday, Saturday
BROWNSVILLE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team ran into a buzz saw at the border on Saturday afternoon. A southern trip of 515-miles went south in a hurry.
University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas’ Southmost College scored early and often in a 12-1 rout. The second place Scorpions upped their overall record to 8-3-3 with their fourth win in a row.
They are 7-1 against competition in the Red River Athletic Conference.
SAGU dropped to 6-9 in all games and are tied for eighth with a 2-6 league mark. The Lions have a three-game losing streak in which they have scored one goal.
The bright spot on Saturday for Southwestern, who were wearing their bright gold uniforms, was a second half goal by midfielder Erik Quan (San Pedro Sula, Honduras / Seran Bilingual School) )).
Quan (pronounced KWAHN), at 5’6, was an unlikely target of a Lee Kounas (Dallas, Tx / Townview HS) cornerkick. He rose, literally, to the occasion, when he leapt to knock in a header.
The goal came at 69:57 into the match and avoided a third straight shutout. It was “Chino’s” second tally this season.
For Kounas (KOO-nahs), it was his sixth assist and moves him into the team lead in points with 16 total points.
Assistant Coach Alex Vazquez described the score as the team's "lonely goal” and "our only highlight of the trip.”
The Lions were outshot by the Stingers, 23-10, including a 15-3 margin in shots on goal. Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS) led the way with six attempts.
Sophomore netminder Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) was busy against a highly efficient UTB attack. He managed three saves on a day when the Lions defense was under siege.
SAGU hadn’t surrendered more than four goals all season. The Scorpions had three in the first five minutes and led by eight at intermission.
Leonardo Medeiros, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was anything but ‘level,’ scoring five goals and adding an assist in a vertical performance.
He scored in the game’s second minute and booted the final goal with seven minutes remaining. Medeiros, a junior, had just four goals entering the contest.
UTB-TSC Head Coach Dan Balaguero said afterwards, "It was a good win today. The guys were very efficient in front of the goal and the early goals really changed the game."
"Everything we touched in front of the goal today went in. We had been threatening to (do this) the last few weeks. Today was our day" said Balaguero.
"They are a good team with some very dangerous individuals but it was just our game."
The Scorpions were riding high following a win two days prior. They defeated the pre-season favorite to win the RRAC, Huston-Tillotson University, 3-2.
They trailed 2-0 and rallied to win in double-overtime. It was just the second loss of the season for the Rams, who were ranked nationally.
UTB has gone 81-23-9 since they began in 2007. The twelve goals were their most since notching 11 against Bacone College in 2008. They are 6-0 against the Lions. A year ago the Scorpions topped the 'Cats in Waxahachie by a 3-1 count.
The last time SAGU allowed double-figures came during the 2007 season in an 11-0 setback at Texas College. During last year's 10-9-5 season the most goals by an opponent was four.
Final home games this week
SAGU must regroup quickly. Still in contention for a berth in the RRAC tournament, the Lions have three games remaining.
Two games are at home, both this week. On Thursday they play host to Texas Wesleyan University (7-4-2, 6-1-1 in RRAC) at 1:00pm.
Next Saturday’s home finale will be broadcast live on SAGU TV. The University of the Southwest (6-6-1, 5-3 in RRAC) visits for a 1:00pm contest.
The day will include a special recognition of senior players; Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cy-Creek HS) and David A. Flores (San Miguel, El Salvador; Richardson, Tx / RL Turner HS), and their parents.
SAGU remains a very young team, with 16 freshmen and sophomores on a roster of twenty.
Southwestern concludes the regular season with a trip to Austin, where they will face HTU (5-2-4, 3-2-3 in RRAC).
The club hopes to regroup in time to qualify for the RRAC tournament and possibly to enter the Central Regional in the National Christian College Athletic Association. The team went 3-0 a year ago and advanced to the Nationals in Orlando.
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