Women's Soccer has 18 matches
Lady Lions seek to continue momentum
Two home games on Labor Day weekend
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Fans who get their kicks following the world’s most popular sport, soccer, can mark their calendars with 18 dates this fall for the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s team.
Head Coach Mandy Fortner released the Lady Lions schedule this week.
It has 18 matches against teams from five states; Oklahoma, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and ten games against squads from Texas.
Half of the contests will be played at the team’s on-campus site, considered one of the best in the Red River Athletic Conference.
New features this season will be the internet broadcast of two home matches. The high-definition production on the SAGU Sports Network will be accessible to fans on computers, iPhones and other apps.
SAGUtv already provides home HD livestreaming of select football, volleyball and basketball games that is viewed as the best offered anywhere among the NAIA.
Another aspect sure to be a hit with fans will be LiveStats. This element, also free of charge, is a digital posting of each home match’s play-by-play. LiveStats gives current statistics, allowing up-to-the minute, breaking news from midfield.
Nine home matches, five on Saturdays
Excluding a home exhibition on August 28 against Hill College (JuCo), the Lady Lions will play on every day except Sunday and Tuesday; on Monday three times, Wednesday 1x, Thursday 5x, Friday 1x and Saturday 8x.
The nine home matches will occur on three different afternoons; Monday 2x, Thursday 2x and Saturday 5x.
Southwestern Assemblies will play host to seven games in September and two in October.
SAGU’s 18 games will come against only six who had a winning record in 2011.
The most formidable home opponent will be Texas Wesleyan University (15-3-1) on October 18, while three road foes had solid seasons last fall; the University of Texas at Brownsville (17-3-1), Our Lady of the Lake University (13-6) and Mid-America Christian University (12-7-1).
The Lady Lions are coming off of an improved effort in 2011, though their 4-14 mark reveals room for growth. It was, however, the most wins in a season for the young program, which completed just their sixth season.
They open on the road against MACU on Friday, August 24. The Lady Evangels blanked Team Purp twice a year ago; 3-0 on August 23, and 4-0 in the semi-finals of the National Christian College Athletic Association's (NCCAA) Central Regional.
Home games kickoff on Labor Day weekend
With students arriving on campus during Labor Day weekend, the Lady Lions play twice at home; Saturday, September 1, versus Sterling College, then on Monday, Sept. 3, when they take on Southwestern College.
SAGU’s highlight last autumn came during the NCCAA Central Regional.
After defeating Huston-Tillotson University 1-0 in the season finale, the Lady Lions edged Central Baptist College (Ark) after a double-overtime, scoreless draw. The Pride won in a shootout, 5-4, with Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) netting the winner.
It was the second straight shutout for goalie Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS).
The Lady Mustangs (7-10) had defeated SAGU earlier in the season.
SAGU was playing their best soccer down the stretch. A week prior to the win over HT, they held a late 2-1 lead on the road (Hobbs, New Mexico) against the University of the Southwest before falling, 3-2. A week
“We are very excited about the upcoming season,” Coach Fortner said this week. “There are a few teams we’ve added that we have not played in previous seasons.”
“Plus, Wiley College just added a women’s soccer program,” she continued. I’m very interested to see how they will perform in their first season. We have also scheduled Louisiana College in early September. That should be a good challenge for us. They are an NCAA Division II school.”
SAGU Soccer: Key veterans, new uniforms
Coach Fortner, who begins her second year at the helm, expects a new-look SAGU team. That means more than the new home uniforms they will introduce in September.
The Lady Lions have signed about six new players, several of which will be announced in the coming days. They should also pick up three who were ineligible this past season. Swift afoot, Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich / Thornapple Kellogg HS), the team’s leading scorer from 2010, returns from knee surgery.
Natalie Pena (Dallas, Tx / Union HS, Tulsa, OK), a 5’4 senior, was tied for the team lead in goals with the graduated Daniela Garcia (Tucson, Az / Rio Rico HS).
Senior co-captain Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS), a skilled defender and midfielder, is likely to serve as the club’s catalyst.
Offensive support should come from forwards Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian), Noelle Pugliese (Lee's Summit, Mo / Lee's Summit North HS), Pena and Belisle.
Lambdin and Pugliese (pug-LEES) both had a pair of goals last season. Belisle (bah-LIE-yuhl) added one.
Shingleton, a sophomore keeper, is a vocal leader and protagonist. She played one game in the field and scored twice.
The defenders as well as the team’s halfbacks may be young and infused with new talent.
Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Faith Christian Academy) emerged late in the season in 2011 and should be joined by Shelby Morgan (Silsbee, Tx / Silsbee HS) and Vicky Hagemeier (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Daniella Ramirez (Waco, Tx / Waco HS).
The team graduated three seniors along with co-captain Ashley Nerat (Menomonee Falls, Wisc / Menomonee Falls HS), who left to help a church plant in New Orleans.
SAGU will be donning new home threads; all white with purple pinstripes. The Lady Lions will seek to earn their own stripes on the field.
SAGU 2012 Women’s Soccer Schedule
|Date||Time||Opponent (2011 Record)||Location|
|8/24||2:00 PM||Mid-America Christian University (12-7-1)||Oklahoma City, OK|
|8/28||3:00 PM||Hill Colege exhibition||SAGU|
|9/1||1:00 PM||Sterling College (KS) (7-10-0)||SAGU|
|9/3||11:00 AM||Southwestern College (KS) (10-8-1)||SAGU|
|9/8||3:00 PM||Louisiana College** (2-17)||SAGU|
|9/12||5:00 PM||Wayland Baptist University (TX) (6-10-2)||Plainview, TX|
|9/15||2:00 PM||Univ of Houston at Victoria (5-10-1)||SAGU|
|9/17||3:00 PM||Dallas Christian College*** (2-12)||Dallas, TX|
|9/20||TBA||Northwood University* (TX) (6-13-1)||SAGU|
|9/24||2:00 PM||Southwestern Christian Univ (OK) (2-14-1)||SAGU|
|9/27||TBA||Bacone Colege* (7-9-2)||Muskogee, OK|
|9/29||TBA||Texas College* (3-11)||Tyler, TX|
|10/4||TBA||Wiley College* (DNP)||Marshall, TX|
|10/11||TBA||Our lady of the Lake University* (13-6)||San Antonio, TX|
|10/13||TBA||Univ of Texas-Brownsville* (17-3-1)||Brownsville, TX|
|10/18||3:00 PM||Texas Wesleyan University* (15-3-1)||SAGU|
|10/20||TBA||University of the Southwest* (NM) (4-8-1)||SAGU|
|10/27||TBA||Huston-Tillotson University* (4-12)||Austin, TX|
|TBA||TBA||NCCAA Central Regional Tournament||TBA|
All game times are in the Central Standard Time zone. Southwestern plays all home games on-campus.
Total: 18 Games; 9 at home. 10 RRAC games; 4/6 home/away.
*Red River Athletic Conference game.
**NCAA Division III.
***ACCA and NCCAA Div. II member.
DNP – Did Not Play / field a team in 2011.
TBA - To Be Announced.