SAGU Surges to 4-1 Soccer Win
Ramos, Avila spark Lions
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Jonathan Ramos scored a tie-breaking goal early in the second half to lead Southwestern Assemblies of God University to a 4-1 triumph over Wayland Baptist University in a men’s college soccer game. The goal snapped a 1-1 tie as the Lions scored four unanswered times in the season opener for both teams.
SAGU yielded a goal in the fourth minute of the game just moments after narrowly missing two quick scoring chances themselves. They battled back against a determined Pioneers team and 106 degree heat. After scoring the equalizer on a beautiful goal by team captain Sam Cabrera (Tampa, Fl / Tampa Baptist), which was assisted by Alex Vazquez (Waxahachie, Tx / Midwestern State Univ) and Joe Ballah (Monrovia, Liberia / Independence HS), momentum shifted.
Salvador Avila (Irving, Tx / MacArthur HS), a talented freshman, tapped a pass that Ramos (Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Charlotte,NC / Garringer HS) hammered high into the net for a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute of play. Less than two minutes later the pair team-up to score again. After 63:49 of play, Ramos connected with Avila (AH-vee-lah) inside the box, and he finished with a laser for a two goal margin.
Southwestern controlled the game from there. Cabrera, a 6-foot-2 defender, anchored the back line that allowed just ten shots. Robbie DeLeon (Dallas, Tx / First Baptist Academy), Will Elliot (Dallas, Tx / Cathedral of Life) and the fleet-footed Riffin Kajangu (Charlotte, NC / UNC-Greensboro) were very active, as were midfielders James Swearingen (Arlington, Tx / Home School), Parker Sturgeon (Bartlesville, Ok / Bartlesville HS) and both Vazquez and Avila.
Sophomore goalkeeper Cesar Galvan (Dallas, Tx / Lovejoy HS) led the Red River Athletic Conference in saves per game last fall. His 7.24 average ranked #12 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He collected six on Saturday. Standing 5-foot-6, the effervescent Galvan is known as the “Little Cat.” What he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in instincts, speed and athleticism. He made a spectacular save on a long shot from 20-yards out by leaping and tipping the would-be goal over the crossbar.
SAGU padded their lead with another Avila scoring kick in the ninetieth minute. He took advantage of a sweet pass from Sturgeon for a 4-1 lead. For the day, Avila had two goals and an assist, which ranks him third in the NAIA on the first week of play across the country.
The victory made a winner out of Gerald Nichols in his first game as head coach of the Lions. His team was spirited, aggressive and focused. The Lions outshot the Pioneers, 17-10, and had a 6-3 edge in cornerkicks.
Southwestern hopes to add a pair of offensive playmakers to the active roster next week. They host Mid America Christian University (7-10-2 last year) on August 24. The lone match of the season on a Wednesday begins at 3pm.