Lions lose heartbreaker, 1-0, in OT
Huston-Tillotson scores with eight seconds left
SAGU to host FC Dallas Academy on Saturday
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A valiant effort against a perennial winner ended in a heartbreaking loss by the Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team on Tuesday.
Huston-Tillotson University, a longtime Lions nemesis, scored an unlikely goal with eight seconds left in overtime to escape with a 1-0 win.
After two scoreless halves, the game appeared destined for a second overtime. The visiting Rams won possession near the sideline, thirty yards from the goal. Fifteen seconds remained.
A pass inside the box to Christian Cruz was softly tapped to Jeminson Mejia, a 5’11 junior midfielder.
Facing a SAGU defender chest-to-chest, about seven yards out, the ball bounced in behind him on his right. Mejia (mah-HEE-yah) managed to lift up his right foot with a backward kick. He lifted the ball up and over both the defender and a screened Lions keeper Cesar Galvan(Allen, Tx / Lovejoy HS).
The game started late, delayed 25 minutes without officials.
"After the distracting start to the game," said Assistant Coach Alex Vazquez, "it took us all of the first half to get our focus back."
"But at the end of the first overtime we lost it again. We allowed a 'through ball' get behind us and eventually into the goal," added Vazquez. "This a very tough loss to absorb. Heartbreaking."
The game was played at a fast pace, end to end, with both teams battling for possession. The flow saw plenty of shots, but few were quality chances.
Entertaining were the maroon-clad Rams. They pushing forward with fervor from the outset.
SAGU countered by marking HT players and challenging each pass. Quicker and more athletic than last year's team, the host Lions were up to the challenge. They allowed only six shots in the first half, none with a prayer to tickle the twine.
The first solid chance for Team Purple to break the deadlock occurred in the 58th minute. Jonathan Ramos(Tegucigalpa, Honduras / Garringer HS) entered the scoring zone and gathered a centered pass from the left side.
Eight yards away, he booted a shot into an open lane only to have a Rams defender make a kick save.
The Rams began to intensify their attacks down the stretch. Several opportunities went awry as the Rams seemed to rush shots.
SAGU’s speedy and agile back line, retooled this year by Head Coach Clem Oancea, was tough to beat. Galvan’s cat-quick reflexes in the net forced the Rams to shoot high.
Then the Lions countered with a late flurry. A cross to an open Jonathan Ramirez(Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) closed rapidly before he could apply much leather to his kick.
One minute later his brother, Joel Ramirez(Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) spelled Mississippi with a weave through three players and deep into the box. Again the Rams recovered, deflecting his shot out of harm’s way.
SAGU’s top two threats, Lee Kounas (Oak Cliff, Tx / Townview HS) and Robert Ambrosie (Iasi, Romania / Wurmbrand HS), a pair of sophomores, were shutout. The latter wasn’t able to play until the closing minutes. Kounas was blanketed by the Rams’ defense.
HT almost delivered a sudden death goal at 5:30 in extra time. Ivan Vazquez missed high into an exposed side of the goal mouth.
The Rams, 8-4-4 in 2012, finished with 18 shots, 11 of them on goal. They racked up seven corner kicks.
SAGU registered 10 shots, eight on goal. The Pride had three corner kicks.
Galvan, who pitched a shutout yesterday in the 7-0 win over Dallas Christian College, almost repeated the feat on Tuesday. He gloved ten saves, many on blasts.
In the end it was a floater that upended SAGU’s upset bid. With the win, Huston-Tillotson is 7-1-1 in the series dating back to 2005.
Upcoming Dates for the Lions
This Saturday, September 14, SAGU meets the FC Dallas Academy team in a 4:00pm exhibition on campus. Professional players will be on hand signing autographs. This is open to everyone, including community youth teams.
The Lions next home game is on September 20 when they welcome Our Lady of the Lake University (3-0). The match will be broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live.