Lady Lions blank Wildcats, 7-0
Pugliese scores twice in record-setting day
Lambdin, Garrison, Powell-Roman, Pena get 3-pts
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Possibly inspired by a certain office supply chain, the women’s soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University 'took care of business' on Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Lions topped Wiley College by a 7-0 count to equal SAGU’s all-time effort in wins in a season with their fourth. Going up against an outmanned Wildcats team who are battling through the growing pains of their first season, the Lions, who began play in 2006, were understandably dominant.
Setting their own mark for goals in a single season with 26, the Lions fired 40 shots (also a new team record), 18 of them on goal. They could have reached double-figures in scoring, which the young Wildcats have allowed in four of their previous five outings.
Under Head Coach Demetrio Hernandez, however, the visitors fought and resisted until the final horn. They circled the wagons and fiercely defended against a SAGU team bent on sharing the opportunities to produce goals.
Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / LS North HS) wasted little time powering her team to a 2-0 lead. The sophomore from a southeastern Kansas City suburb, fired early and often amidst a flurry of hurried shots by Southwestern.
Just 17:27 into the match she gathered a pass from Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian), booting it passed goalie Natasha Celedon. Thirteen minutes later she struck paydirt again.
Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich / Thornapple Kellogg HS), slanted into the box from the right. As the defense collapsed on her, she tapped a pass to her left, where Pugliese (PUG-lees) awaited with a hammer from 6-yards. She nailed it.
Two years ago Garrison led the team in scoring before an injury caused her miss last season. Three minutes before intermission she collected her first goal since October of 2010.
In the box as a teammate booted a shot off the upright, she alertly darted in to cash-in on the carom at 41:15. She turned to her backslapping colleagues and, in the words of American writer Robert Bausch, was “lit up like a carnival ride.”
Second half scoring
Senior Jessica Powell-Roman (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS), following an assist from Natalie Pena (Dallas, Tx / Union HS, Tulsa, Ok), extended the score to 4-0 nine minutes into the second half.
Lambdin got in on the act after a few near misses at 68:08 into the game. Audrea Davila (Grand Prairie, Tx / South GP HS) connected with her on a through ball in the center of the goalmouth.
Adorned with her signature black headband, Lambdin beat the keeper to the ball on the side. She rammed it home a second before a collision that sent her into left post. After gathering her wits, she shook it off like yesterday’s news.
Pena (PAIN-ya), who was active on the frontline throughout the afternoon, made it 6-0 at 70:10. Freshman defender McKina Michael (Plano, Tx / West HS) threaded the needle with a pass and Pena tickled the twine with a rising shot from eight yards.
The final tally came on a perfectly executed placekick from the southwest corner by Powell-Roman.
Her looping liner cleared a gathering of defenders where it was controlled by Daniele Tesei (TESS-ay, like essay) (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS). She quickly redirected the ball into an opening on the left side of the goal.
Like a shark nabbing a hooked wahoo just before it’s landed by the fisherman, Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) added the finishing touches on the play.
She tagged the ball as an onrushing defender tried in vain to clear the medium velocity grounder.
Belisle (bih- LAHYL) was credited with the goal, with both Tesei and Powell-Roman collecting assists.
Sophomore keeper Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) picked up her third shutout of the year. Facing only a few shots, the fluent goalie owes this one to a backline that swept the floor of all landmines.
Her 1.36 goals against average rank second best in the Red River to Amanda Fulton (UT-Brownsville).
The two will go head-to-head next Saturday, October 13, when SAGU travels to the border to face the Lady Scorpions (6-3, 4-0 in RRAC).
Lambdin (6 goals) and Pugliese (5 goals) have 14 and 13 points, respectively, ranking fifth and sixth in the RRAC.
The pair gives SAGU a scoring threat tandem that could result in both of them breaking the school’s single-season record for points (16) and goals (7).
The Purple Pride’s 26 goals this season doubles last year’s 13, which nearly doubled the 2010 output of seven.
Next Three Games for SAGU
Southwestern has now claimed wins in three of their past four games, outscoring their opponents by a 13-2 count.
The Lady Lions return to action next Thursday, Oct. 11, in San Antonio. They will take on Our Lady of the Lake University at 3:00pm.
Their next home game arrives on Oct. 18 when Texas Wesleyan University (5-5-2, 2-2-1) visits for a 3:00pm game. The Rams are currently in fifth place, the Lady Lions are in a three-way tie for sixth.
The October 20 home finale against the University of the Southwest (NMex) will be broadcast by SAGU Sports Live. The team will honor seniors and their parents that day. The Lady Lions game begins at noon (CST), followed by the Lions at 2pm. Both will aired in HD on the internet.
The top six teams qualify for a berth in the RRAC post-season tournament. Should SAGU earn a berth, it would be their first.
Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at
or at 469-658-2847.