Lady Lions cooled by hot Rams
Texas Wesleyan drops SAGU to 7th
Home game on Saturday critical for Purple Pride
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University ran into a hot Texas Wesleyan University team on Thursday and could’ve used a pair of potholders.
The visiting Lady Rams won their third game in a row, all shutouts, in a 3-0 triumph. They used an early goal to set the pace and brought the game to SAGU’s end of the pitch most of the afternoon.
The Lady Lions slipped to 5-11 for the season while their mark in the Red River Athletic Conference dropped to 3-5.
Wesleyan improved to 8-5-2 in all games and are 5-2-1 in league play. It was their defense’s seventh shutout this season.
SAGU, outshot by a 30-3 count, did well to limit the Rams to one goal for almost an hour. The visitors have a 37-20 margin in goals scored and yielded.
While enjoying an upgraded performance this autumn, the Lady Lions have won the most games since they began in 2006, as well as booting more goals than in any year.
Still, Team Purple has been held scoreless in seven games, including the past two. Impressively, through 16 games, the team has been outscored by only a 27-32 count.
Only a superb effort from goalie Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) kept only one shot from the reaching the net until the second half.
The fiery sophomore collected 14 saves, tying her season high. She has four shutouts to go along with a 5-6 record between the pipes.
Coupled with Bacone College’s 12-1 rout of winless Wiley College, the Lady Lions dropped into a seventh place tie with the University of the Southwest (3-8-1, 3-5 in RRAC) and Huston-Tillotson University (3-12, 3-5) in the battle for a place in the RRAC tournament.
It makes Saturday’s meeting with USW critical to SAGU’s chances of earning their first post-season berth in the Red River.
The final home game, which will honor senior Jessica Powell-Roman (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS), will begin at noon.
The match will also be broadcast in high definition on SAGU TV by SAGU Sports Live. A pre-game show will begin at approximately 11:45am.
Rob Price and Tim Roberts will supply the play-by-play and color analyst roles on the free livestream. SAGU remains the only school in the NAIA to air games in HD.
Bacone is now 5-12 overall and 4-5 against conference foes. They have the inside position for the final position in the tourney based on their 1-0 win over SAGU three weeks ago.
First half revisited
Texas Wesleyan netted their first goal at 18:13 into the game. It came on a cornerkick by Shrareh Asadi after a turnover by SAGU’s backline.
Her inbounding kick sailed to the back post where Paige Wheaton was open. She gathered in the waist-high corner, and kicked it inside the left post.
The Purple Pride was held to one shot by intermission by a Wesleyan midfield that maintained possession throughout.
Defenders Brianna Wilson, Allison Walsh, Kaeley Albus and Jordan Stellato did well in stifling any hopes SAGU had of leveling the score.
The best moments came via a through-ball to Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich / Thornapple Kellogg HS) that was scooped up by the Rams’ keeper, Aubree Gallego.
The second chance was a good run down the left flank by Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian) that was short-circuited at the edge of the box. They were the Lions only opportunities until recess.
Garrison darted past the coverage for the pass. If not for an aggressive approach by Gallego (GAH-lay-go), she would've had a one-on-one setting with the keeper.
TWU had only nine shots themselves before pulling away in the second half.
Second half summary
They broke through early and often against SAGU’s undersized back line.
Shingleton kept her team within a goal by making three saves on blasts from close range in the first four minutes. The Rams hit paydirt for a second goal at 52:31.
Katherine Bynum, outside the box on the right side, connected with an unmarked Walsh. She turned and delivered a sharply hit ball inside the right upright from six yards out.
They kept the pressure on until their third tally at 78:42. Alexis Michaelkovich took advantage of a well-placed assist from Albus to ice the game at 3-0.
Lady Lion midfielders struggled with turnovers and were held in check the rest of the way. The closest chance for a score came in the 74th minute.
Garrison sent a pass to her left to Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS). The sophomore lasered a long shot from over 30-yards that Gallego snared in front of the goal.
What's at stake in final two games
SAGU needs to win their last two games; against Southwest and Huston-Tillotson on October 27, to make either the RRAC tourney or the Central Regional of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
The latter will be played in Denver in November.
Three players; Lambdin, Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / LS North HS) and Powell-Roman all have a chance to break the team scoring record heading into the final two games.