Men's Soccer blanked by Rams, 1-0
RRAC tourney berth gone with loss
Home finale on Saturday at 2:00pm
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The men’s soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University was not without effort and attitude on a sundrenched fall day. But points were only rewarded for goals in a hard-fought 1-0 loss at the hands of Texas Wesleyan University.
The defeat dropped the Lions chances of gaining a berth in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament to that of a wilted daffodil. At 6-10 overall and 2-7 against league competitors, the Lions, in ninth place, are now eliminated. Only the top six teams qualify.
SAGU dropped their fourth straight game and seventh in nine outings. It was also the fifth one-goal setback for the Purple Pride.
Texas Wesleyan improved to 8-4-2 in all games and 7-1-1 in the RRAC. The Rams are the only team in the Red River to whip UT-Brownsville (2-1). Their lone league loss came at Our Lady of the Lake University (4-2).
Wesleyan has scored just one more goal this season, 30-29, than the Lions. The difference is clearly defense, where t ttthe Rams have yielded 19 to SAGU’s 39. A rebuilt Lions back-line didn't develop as needed.
Wesleyan scored the game’s only goal in the 35th minute, and then made it stand for the final 55 minutes.
Bosnian-born Ivan Kovacevic centered a high-arcing pass from over 35-yards out following a defensive turnover. The lob into the goal-mouth was misplayed by the Lions backline and misjudged by the keeper.
T.J. Romaguera, a 6-foot senior charged past a fallen defender and outleapt goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) for the ball, heading it web ward at 34:47.
An airborne Galvan was trying to grab the moonshot from midfield when Romaguera (RO-ma-GAIR-ah) jumped to boink the ball past the netminder for what turned out to be the game-winning tally.
A physical Rams team took the play to the Lions, whose possession and control style was knocked off it game for stretches of play.
The Lions' speed and finesse, however, did allow for majority ownership and a handful of scoring opportunities.
At numerous times the Rams were on their heels, scrambling to thwart one of many SAGU runs along the sideline or attacks up the middle.
Either Clay Lawson or Ross DeWet would snuff out a Purple Pride scoring bid by swiping or clearing the ball, or Wesleyan would resort to brute force of will to stymie the Lions.
TWU showed their frustration at the SAGU attack with 15 fouls and four yellow card infractions as the play became fairly chippy.
Goalie Dejan (DE-yahn) Milosevic came up big when needed, registering eight saves.
SAGU’s best prospects to score came in the 36th minute. Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS) tagged a free kick from 28-yards that Joel Ramirez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) headed to the right side. His shot was deflected back to him, where his bicycle-kick sailed beyond the post.
A Ramirez-to-Sturgeon pass into the box was intercepted by Lawson, who made many break-ups to go along with some jarring hits.
Jonathan Ramos (Tegucigalpa, Honduras / Garringer HS) ) uncorked a blast from 16 yards that Milosevic (MILL-oh-SEV-itch) gloved. A minute later he snared an 18-yard strike by Sturgeon from the left side.
TWU was under siege for about a 25-minute stretch in the second half, but they never went under.
Ramirez often blazed a path down the right flanks, getting by the gold-cladded Rams with speed and sheer energy. But the guests countered with double-teams and solid play.
Openings after intermission came during a 3-on-3 break with Lee Kounas (Dallas, Tx / Townview HS) on the receiving end of a Ramirez pass. The Rams collapsed around the ball to end the prospects an equalizer.
Perhaps the best chance happened near the 70th minute. Kounas (KOO-nuhs) sent a high cross to Robert Ambrosie (Iasi, Romania / Richard Wurmbrand HS). The Romanian’s shot near the far post was silenced by the Serbian keeper, Milosevic, who soared for an overhead save.
On two other similar occasions the Lions were denied by the Rams goalie. A midfield steal led to a pass in the box to Ambrosie, and also when Sturgeon maneuvered past three defenders before sliding a through-ball for Ambrosie.
Each time Milosevic charged out of the goal-mouth like an eel protecting its residence in the reef.
After the last venture to Ambrosie with 2:30 to play, the Rams controlled the ball until the clock expired.
Wesleyan had a 20-13 margin in shots. Both teams had three corner kicks.
The Lions goalie, Galvan, had a noteworthy effort in a losing cause. He allowed the one goal and made ten saves. SAGU was called for 12 fouls, with one yellow caution.
Final Two Games
SAGU’s final home game is on Saturday, October 20, when the University of the Southwest (Hobbs, NMex) visits for a 2:00pm (CST) match.
The game will be broadcast in high definition on SAGU TV.
The USW Mustangs are in seventh place, battling for a playoff bid. They are 6-7-1 overall and 5-4 in the RRAC.
The Lions will close the regular season a week later, October 27, with a trip to the state capital to face Huston-Tillotson University (6-2-4, 4-2-3 in RRAC).
To earn a spot in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Central Regional tourney in November, the Lions must win their final two games.
On Thursday they played without Danny Martinez (Houston, Tx / Cy-Creek HS). The team’s leader in goals will return for the final two games.
Red River Athletic Conference
|Texas at Brownsville||8-1||.889||9-3-3||.700||Won 5|
|Our Lady of the Lake||8-1||.889||9-5-1||.633||Lost 1|
|Texas Wesleyan||7-1-1||.833||8-4-2||.643||Won 4|
|St. Thomas||2-6-1||.278||4-9-1||.321||Won 1|
|Wiley College||2-7||.222||2-11||.154||Won 1|
|Bacone College||2-7||.222||2-13||.133||Lost 2|
|Texas College||0-9||.000||1-14||.067||Lost 13|