Pugliese scores in Lady Lions loss
Late goal costs, SAGU, 2-1
Shingleton scoops up 14 saves
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University junior forward Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS) scored the tying goal midway in the second half only to see the visitors from Southwestern College win the game on a late tally.
The 2-1 outcome was SAGU’s second straight loss by that score, dropping their record to 0-3.
SC, from Winfield, Kansas, improved their won-lost mark to 2-0.
In what may have been their best performance of the young season, SAGU overcame a shaky start by playing some inspired soccer.
Head Coach Mandy Fortner’s squad was on their heels the moment the National Anthem ended. An effective passing attack utilized the give-and-go to create numerous scoring openings.
The SAGU defenders were often slow to respond, spending much of their time trying to recover. Senior Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) and sophomore goalie Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park, Tx) thwarted every chance like someone playing Whack-a-Squirrel at a carnival.
In the first twenty minutes the Moundbuilders had a 1-0 lead and were giving Shingleton a workout. She had already bagged six saves by then. It appeared it was going to be a long, laborious Labor Day.
As the last line of defense, Shingleton added five more by intermission.
The Lady Lions, however, weathered the storm. Playing minus defender Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Sorocco HS), the back border security had been under siege.
Regrouped, the team countered with quick strikes off long passes. Their first shot on goal, by McKina Michael (Plano, Tx / Plano West HS), came late in the half.
Their resolve began to pay dividends. Midway through the second half Team Purp scored the equalizer with an impressive play.
Sophomore forward Amber Belisle (beh-LIE-yul) (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) connected with Pugliese (pug-LEES) just outside the box on the right side. She sent a through-ball that split two defenders.
Pugliese controlled the ball, and then discharged a high-arching shot that hooked left over the outstretched arms of 5'9 SC keeper Lauren Strain.
It was the third career goal for Pugliese. She had two last fall while leading Team Lioness in shots. Along with Belisle and Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian), she shared the category lead on Monday with two shots apiece.
The Moundbuilders rebounded, literally. Moments later, they scored the game winner. Alyson Sparkman, a 5’3 senior forward, cashed in when she was in the right place at the right time.
A shot that deflected off the goal post ricocheted to her. The North Carolina native knew what to do, tar-heeling it into the net.
The 2-1 lead held up in the final minutes for the visitors, making their 400 mile trip home a pleasant one.
Southwestern outshot the Lady Lions, 16-9. They also owed a 3-1 advantage in cornerkicks.
Shingleton finished with 14 saves, just three after recess.
A year ago she averaged 7.7 per contest, reaching double figures eight times. Her career best is 15 against Texas-Brownsville in a 5-1 loss.
On the Air: Lady Lions game to be broadcast
SAGU returns to the pitch this Saturday, September 8, when they welcome Louisiana College to town for a 3:00pm (CST) game. It will be the first time SAGU soccer has ever been broadcast.
The Lady Wildcats are currently 1-1. The NCAA Division III team will play at Dallas Christian College on Friday at 3:00pm.
The pre-game show begins at 2:45pm. SAGU Sports Live, with Rob Price and Tim Roberts, will air the game in high definition. No other NAIA school provides such service in HD.
Fan can access the free on-line, live video at www.sagu.edu/tv.