Women's Soccer yields to UTB, 5-1
Belisle blast lifts Lady Lions
Final home game set for October 29
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The women’s soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University played one of the Red River Athletic Conference’s best teams, the University of Texas at Brownsville, to a 1-1 tie until the midway point of the first half before eventually coming up short to the Scorpions in a 5-1 decision.
Playing with inspiration despite a current losing skid, the Lady Lions exhibited their feisty defense from the start. In the 10th minute of play their efforts paid off.
Recently activated transfer sophomore Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) took advantage of a turnover forced by teammates and blistered a screaming 25-yard shot. It sliced just beyond (goalie) Jessica Hamer’s reach into the webbing in the upper-right corner of the goal mouth. The 5-foot-7 forward’s unassisted missile sent the SAGU bench into celebration.
Moments later their improved play almost resulted in another tally. Senior Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) stroked a free kick from just beyond the box. It sailed past a line of defenders as well as Hamer and then the far post. The team co-captain refuses to allow her team to accept their offensive slump over the past month.
Losing their top scorer from a year ago, Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich / Thornapple Kellogg HS), for the season due to an injured knee, is just one of the obstacles the Lady Lions have battled. Another injury later in the half didn’t help.
The Scorpions broke the stalemate with three lightning quick goals just before intermission to break open the deadlock. Isadora Freitas (FRAY-tahs) scored following a pass from Verena Wonsikowski for what proved to be the game-winning score. But it was a splendid cornerkick that broke the Lioness’ back. Helen Wagstaff sent a hook to the front of the goal that Monica Mendez knocked between the pipes for a 3-1 margin.
Defenders Nerat, Lozano, Shingleton shine
Southwestern’s defense picked up in the second half, sparked by a knockdown tackle by co-captain Ashley Nerat (Menomonee Falls, Wis / Menomonee Falls HS). An active Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Faith Christian), a 5’8 shark patrolling purple waters, was roaming and fending off UTB advances.
Powell and Vicky Hagemeier (D.R. of Congo) joined in the fray against a speedy and deep cast of forwards from Texas Southmost College, holding them scoreless over the next 34 minutes. Chelsea Maidmant tacked on the visitors’ last goal on a direct kick from 22-yards in the 79th minute.
SAGU freshman keeper Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) was busy, facing 24 shots. Her jersey number (99) seemed to indicate how effective she was on a scale of 1-to-100. The lightning rod for head coach Mandy Fortner’s unit racked up a career-best 15 saves.
Her finest was a laser she snared from 10-yards out from UTB-TSC’s Leah Russell.
Playing the Hits
The Lady Lions (2-11 overall, 0-6 in RRAC) had three scoring bids in the second half. Emily Jones (Flagstaff, Az / Flagstaff HS) was wide right after a drive down the sideline into scoring position.
Belisle (bah-LIE-yul) fired a frozen rope from 23-yards that Hamer was able to snare in the 77th minute.
Senior forward Dani Garcia (Tucson, Az / Rio Rico HS), who leads the club in both goals and assists, was denied when she and Hamer collided while going for the ball near the goal. She had beaten a defender and was one-on-one with the goalie.
Hamer charged Garcia and slid just as the latter was about to deke her for a clear stroll down Project Runway. The impact left both players in a heap. The center official ruled against the hard-charging Garcia in a questionable call.
The foul in favor of Hamer supported MC’s popular pop classic, “you can’t touch this.”
Team Purp’s Far Trek
SAGU will take to the road next week after six straight home matches. On Thursday, October 20, they will visit Texas Wesleyan University (12-3, 4-2 in RRAC) in Ft. Worth at 5:30pm. Then they will meet the University of the Southwest (2-7-1, 0-5-1 in RRAC) at 1:00pm on Saturday, Oct. 22. That game will be played in Hobbs, New Mexico.
The Lady Lions close the 2011 campaign with a home tilt versus Huston-Tillotson University (4-8, 2-4 in RRAC) on Oct. 29. Senior players and their parents will be honored that afternoon.