Wildcats claw past SAGU, 2-0
Shingleton turns in solid effort at goalie
Lady Lions outshoot, but can't outscore
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Despite an impressive showing by the defense and goalie, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s soccer team didn’t prevent a 2-0 setback against Louisiana College on Saturday.
The contest, which was the first to be livestreamed by SAGU Sports Live, was a well-fought, near evenly matched affair on the Lady Lions home turf.
A pair of close-range goals by the Wildcats (3-1) was plenty on a day when SAGU mounted precious few good scoring chances.
Sara Smith, open in the middle, took a pass from right-winger Alex Corne, and buried a shot the keeper had no chance at stopping. The tally came just 17:26 into the game.
The visiting Wildcats, who are in Division III of the NCAA, controlled the early stages of the game by keeping the ball on one end of the field. Slow starts and quick deficits have plagued SAGU (0-4) in each of their four games.
Southwestern, after stuttering like a cracked record, righted their ship and gradually seized control of midfield. Creating serious threats to score, however, was a riddle they couldn’t solve.
The Lady Lions fired more shots, 14-11, with all of them being from the perimeter. Louisiana College goalie Emily Breaux was up to the task, recording seven saves and a second shutout in as many days. Her team blanked Dallas Christian College on Friday in a 5-0 triumph.
A year after a trying 2-17 season, the Wildcats are rolling at 3-1.
They began the second half of the game like they did the first. Ashlee Dubra (DEW-brah) sent a short pass from the left to center of the box. Left unmarked, Taylor Bergeron (BURR-szur-ON) blistered a waste-high laser into the webbing for a 2-0 advantage.
Only a minute after intermission, the final margin was all but certain.
SAGU was able to boot half of their shots down the stretch, though their inability to produce high-percentage opportunities was evident. True to their form they remained vigilant and never relented.
Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS), Danielle Tesei (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS) and Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS) had the best prospects to light the lamp.
Each shot was snuffed out by a well-positioned Breaux (BRO). Belisle (bah-LIE-yel) uncorked a rising torpedo that sailed over the crossbar in the second half.
“It was a pretty evenly matched game,” admitted SAGU Head Coach Mandy Fortner. “Though we outshot them, they (those shots) weren’t much to speak of.”
“When we possessed the ball we had some success. But we turned the ball over too quickly and too much,” she continued. “We allowed two goals because of a defensive mistake and it cost us.”
The Lady Lions were without a key player in Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Socorro HS). The sophomore defender, recovering from a knee injury, is also an offensive threat.
Audrea Davila (Grand Prairie, Tx / South GP HS) stepped in and helped control the back line. Often, after battling to seize possession of the ball, defenders would kick it away before pressure forced their hand.
“Amber gave us some openings to score,” Fortner said. “We are creating more chances, though we still lack a finisher. We are working on our possession game and believe it will be more effective by the time we start conference play.”
The second year coach gave props to sophomore goalie Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS). “She turned in a few awesome saves! She came off of the goal line, taking away angles and nullifying scoring breaks.”
Shingleton registered nine saves.
Senior forward Natalie Pena (Dallas, Tx / Union HS, Tulsa, Ok) led the offense with four shots on goal.
Southwestern will be back in action on Wednesday, September 12. Team Lioness will take on Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas.
The Lady Pioneers are currently 3-3. The contest will commence at 5:00pm (CST) at Hilliard Field.
SAGU returns for a home game next Saturday, Sept. 15, when the University of Houston at Victoria comes to town for a 2pm title. The UHV Lady Jaguars are toting a 3-3 record.