Lady Lions fall, 2-1, in home debut
Powell to Lozano; a beautiful goal
Labor Day home game at 11am
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A precision-like score during a cornerkick wasn’t enough for the women’s soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in a 2-1 loss at the hands of Sterling College on Saturday.
The game was the home debut for SAGU, whose season record slipped to 0-2. Sterling, located in the center of the state, northwest of Wichita, improved their won-lost ledger to 3-0.
The Lady Lions surrendered a pair of quick goals in the opening twenty minutes of play. The breakdowns on defense were overcome and the game settled into a hard-fought show of force in which shots on goal were rare.
SAGU received impressive performances on defense by sophomore goalie Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) and senior defender Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS).
Powell seemed to be omni-present, stepping in to fill the void, fearlessly blocking a handful of Sterling shots. She was as obvious as the Montana sun.
“Jess played very well,” said SAGU head coach Mandy Fortner. “The two early goals caught us off-guard. The remainder of the game I felt was pretty even and much more organized defensively."
“We can always count on Jess playing well and blocking shots. She clearly controlled the back line,” she continued. The team captain stood out like a kingpin at a bowling alley.
Defenders connect the dots to score
In the game’s 51st minute, Southwestern struck for a goal.
Powell sent a corner kick from the southwest corner. It whistled as it sliced through muggy, warm air, approaching a crowd in front of the goal-mouth.
Moving forward to the fast-approaching ball, sophomore Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Socorro HS) deflected it with her forehead, bonking the ball to the far reaches of the left corner. The Warriors keeper, Rielee Reed, leapt in vain as the shot tickled the twine.
“Gloria had a beautiful goal in the second half,” Fortner said describing the play of the athletic, 5’9 player. “She is a huge threat in the six-yard box. We look forward to using her aggression this season as a scoring threat.”
The corner kick was a connection of Lady Lion defensive stars. Southwestern was unable to mount a serious scoring bid again.
“The team is coming together well,” Fortner added. “I feel like we are playing a more possessive and organized game this year. The addition of some new players has helped to control the middle of the field. We’re getting there.”
Belisle (beh-LIE-yel) operated well as the goalie. She had little chance of preventing the first goal. It was a well-executed bang-bang, pass-play in the game’s fourth minute from Kaylee Schell to Adrianna Ortiz.
The second was another story.
It looked as though she would glove a liner down the middle from 18-yards by Michelle Malette. It skipped like a stone in the 19th minute in what turned out to be the eventual winning goal.
“It was sent pretty hard,” she admitted afterwards, “but I should’ve caught it.” The ball glanced off her mitts about six-feet high, dropping into the webbing for a 2-0 deficit.
More than capable as the keeper, she will soon return to the frontlines as an attacker as Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) returns as the first string goalie. She has been nursing an injury.
“Amber has done well for us, but when Haley returns we’ll be able to have them both in their favored position,” stated Fortner. “And we can really use Amber on the attack!”
Team Lioness managed to fire just five shots against Sterling, who has allowed just one goal (Lozano’s header) in their first three games. The Warriors had nine, five in the second half when Shingleton was between the pipes. Both SAGU goalies had a pair of saves.
Home games on Monday, Saturday
SAGU will face Southwestern College (Winfield, Ks) on Labor Day Monday, September 3. The home contest is set for an 11:00am start.
SCW opened this season with a 5-0 triumph on Saturday at Dallas Christian College.
A year ago the Moundbuilders were 10-8-1. In 2010, the ‘Jinx’ struggled through a 1-15-1 autumn that included a 2-0 loss at SAGU.
The Lady Lions are also at home next Saturday, Sept. 8. They play Louisiana College (NCAA Division III) in SAGU’s first-ever game to be broadcast live.
The 3:00pm match will be aired at no cost to viwers by SAGU Sports Live on SAGU TV in high definition.