Soccer Lions can't hold 4-1 lead
SAGU loses 5-4 in OT to John Brown
Salazar scores twice, Ramirez and Ramos add goals
Box Score (below article)
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University built a pair of three-goal leads on Thursday against John Brown University. They weren't enough, however, to overcome a late breakdown in a 5-4 overtime loss.
Displaying an opportunistic offense that produced a 3-0 lead, the Lions had a 4-1 advantage 53:31 into the match.
But they would not score again over the final forty-five minutes.
The Golden Eagles scored the final four goals, two in the closing fifteen minutes to send the game into overtime.
Ryan Duncan, a junior from Scotland, netted their final three goals, the last with four seconds remaining in overtime.
After the Lions defense collapsed with critical breakdowns down the stretch, Duncan controlled a ball that was not cleared, banging in the winner from five yards away. It completed an improbable comeback for the Eagles.
“They (SAGU) should’ve won,” admitted JBU’s first year coach, Scott Marksberry. “But our guys never quit.”
“We played 23 players today,” he said, “and our depth was a big advantage for us.”
The Lions dropped their third game in overtime this season, falling to 3-11 overall and 0-6 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. JBU is 7-7 and 3-3.
The turning point in the game was clear.
Owning a 4-2 lead, the Lions goalie, Cesar Espana (Katy, Tx / Cinco Ranch HS), was called for a second delay of game penalty. Each drew automatic yellow cards.
The second, with 15:27 left in the game, meant SAGU would play shorthanded by one-man the rest of the game.
Their first string goalkeeper was already sitting out the game for drawing a red card in the previous game. The Lions were then forced to utilize another netminder.
It didn’t matter.
John Brown seized the opportunity like a hockey team with an extended power play.
Duncan scored easily in the 78th minute on a pass from Will Simonds, and then evened the score on a header in the 84th. Daniel Marulanda assisted.
Screaming like paroled banshees, the blue-clad Birds had all of the momentum heading into OT.
The Lions did manage two shots in the extra 10-minute period, but didn’t seriously threaten. The Eagles did.
New SAGU goalie Jose Hernandez (Dallas, Tx / Skyline HS) stoned an attack from point-blank range in the 95th minute. He latched onto another save a minute later.
Freshman defender Danni Castro (Dallas, Tx / Skyline HS) made a kick save near the back post with 1:45 left.
The Eagles made one last rush with ten seconds left. Duncan charged in from the right side and booted the decisive goal, unassisted, at 99:56.
While JBU danced in celebration, a handful of Lions were left in disbelief, lying flat on the turf. Mistakes had spoiled an impressive, 75-minute effort.
Throughout the game the SAGU backline refused to let John Brown find their rhythm. Castro, Salvador Avila (Fortuna, Cal / Irving MacArthur HS), Jonathan Ramirez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) and especially Robert Ambrosie (Lasi, Romania / Richard Wurmbrand HS) had risen to the challenge.
SAGU scored just 8:56 into the match when Jon Ramirez, a freshman, delivered a sensational goal from 23 yards out.
After receiving a pass from Lee Kounas (Oak Cliff, Tx / Townview HS), he drove the right end line. Ramirez sent a high hook that sailed over 6-foot GK Pablo Garcia and curved into the far, back corner.
Sandro Salazar (Kissimmee, Fla / Gateway HS) followed with a score, beating Garcia on the right following another assist by Kounas. The tally at 17:03 gave Team Purp a 2-0 upper hand.
Eight minutes later the Lions extended the lead to 3-0.
Salazar nearly scored in a crowd on the left side, gathered the rebound and almost poked it past Garcia.
An alert Jonathan Ramos (Tegucigalpa, Honduras / Garringer HS) slid wide to the left and benefitted from a 'touch pass' from Salazar, who was on the ground at the time. “Colocho” Ramos parlayed the helper into a three goal margin.
The good news was SAGU was owning the Eagles. The bad news was there was still plenty of time left in the game for JBU.
JBU got on the board with the first of two Martin Gonzalez goals to reduce the Lions lead to 3-1 at intermission.
Salazar ripped the nets just eight and a half minutes into the second half. Ramirez was credited with the assist that reestablished the lead at 4-1.
SAGU’s defense stayed on their game for much of the sunny afternoon.
A vigilant Ambrosie twice cleared the ball and prevented a score by Duncan with a last ditch, sliding kick save in the first half.
Head Coach Clem Oancea’s team matched John Brown man-for-man in one of SAGU’s better performances this fall.
They simply couldn’t account for everyone when the Golden Eagles had an extra player for the final twenty-five minutes.
Lions have four games to go; three are at home
The Purple Pride has four games remaining in the 2013 regular season.
SAGU returns to the pitch on Saturday, October 26, when they entertain St. Gregory’s University (5-6-1 overall, 1-4-1 in SAC) at 3:00pm.
They will honor their seniors on Tuesday, Oct. 29, when the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) comes to Waxahachie for a 3:00pm game. The Drovers are currently 8-4 in all games and 5-1 in the SAC.
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