Young Lions Fall in Season Debut
Central Baptist tops SAGU, 2-0
CONWAY, Arkansas -- For the men's soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, the outcome was the same, but the performance gave plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
A year ago the Mustangs of Central Baptist College rode into Waxahachie and built a commanding 4-0 lead by intermission and dominated the Lions in a 5-0 verdict that revealed much about both teams. Monday evening, northwest of Little Rock, SAGU battled valiantly and proved their improved mettle in a 2-0 setback to CBC. This time, the clouds of defeat were lined in silver for the Lions.
The Mustangs got the only goal they would need in the twentieth minute of the first half of a game that new Lions Head Coach Aaron DeLoach would describe as very physical. The contest remained tight and Southwestern made a number of offensive advances with great bids to knot the score.
"We were in position to swing momentum on our side," DeLoach said. "But two of our best chances drew iron. One shot hit the crossbar and the other bounced off the goal post." It was that close to a different result.
Central wasn't able to clinch the match until late. With only fifteen minutes remaining, the Ponies converted a well-played surge into the Lions' defense, effectively icing the game with their second tally.
The game was played in soaring temperatures, and the ensuing competitive styles resulted in a number of fouls and carded players, though none were of the unsportsmanlike variety. One Lion drew a pair of yellow cards, causing the team to play with only ten men during the closing ten minutes following his disqualification.
DeLoach mentioned the solid play of freshman goalie Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) as well as the resistant efforts by Lane Best (Temple, Tx / Cedar Valley College, Temple HS), Shelby Smith (Round Rock, Tx / Stony Point HS) and Joe Ballah (Charlotte, NC / Independence HS).
SAGU returns to action on Wednesday when they meet Mid-America Christian University. The game is slated for a 4:00pm start in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Evangels had an 11-10-1 ledger last season, their fourth under new Head Coach Zach Bice.
The Lions continue their stretch of road games with an 11am clash with the University of Texas at Dallas on Saturday, August 28. The UTD Comets went 9-7-3 last season. They are in Division III of the NCAA. SAGU's fourth game is Tuesday, August 31, at Dallas Christian College.
First Home Games, Sept. 4 and 6
Southwestern's home debut is on Saturday, September 4, when they will unveil a team with plenty of fresh faces and a new uniform. Their opponent that day will be Dakota Wesleyan University in a 1:00pm contest. They have another home game on Monday, Labor Day, also at 1:00pm, against Southwestern College.