Garrison, Lady Lions corral USW
SAGU remains in tournament fight
Shingleton posts sixth shutout
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The best season ever for the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s soccer team continues to add new chapters in a book with plenty of drama, action and heroes.
On Saturday they used a first half goal by sophomore Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich / Thornapple Kellogg HS) and, behind the solid play of their defense, made it stand in a 1-0 triumph over the University of the Southwest.
The Lady Lions, who began play in 2006 and had never won more than four games until this fall, notched their sixth victory.
After a 1-8 start that included five one-goal setbacks, the team has reeled off five wins in their last eight games.
At 6-11 overall, SAGU is in a sixth place tie with Bacone College (5-12, 4-5 in RRAC) in the Red River Athletic Conference.
Only the top six teams earn a berth in the RRAC tournament. Both teams will conclude their season next Saturday.
BC also got off to a slow, 1-8 beginning. They hold a critical tie-breaking edge over the Lady Lions; they edged SAGU in Muskogee, Oklahoma on September 27, 1-0.
Game Rewind: Garrison goal deja-vu
Saturday’s match was a dog-fight from the start.
The Mustangs, from Hobbs, New Mexico, were the more aggressive team for the majority of the afternoon. They struggled to finish several opportunities which only served to inspire the Lions.
Countering a rush by the Fillies, Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / LS North HS) got past a defender near midfield, dashing the right sideline towards the southwest corner. Then she fired a sharp left cross to her left, just to the right of the inside post.
Justine Lopez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) controlled the ball and applied a quick foot from less than 10-yards out. USW goalie Pua (POO-ah) Silva got a hand on it, deflecting it to the left.
There for the rebound was Garrison, wearing a hero's cape.
Silent as Bambi’s shadow, she drove the ball into the net with a firm shot for what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. The 1-0 lead came just 17:57 into the game.
Two years ago it was Garrison who starred in a season-ending 2-2 tie with USW. Then a freshman, she booted both goals before being crumbled by a defender. The blow required knee surgery and a year of rehabilitation.
Payback was sugary sweet for the player with the electric smile.
While the Mustangs appeared to be on the offensive, it was the Lady Lions who had the most quality scoring chances.
Garrison missed the left post following a direct kick by Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS). A moment later it was Natalie Pena (Dallas, Tx / Union HS; Tulsa, Ok) powering one off the left corner-post.
Later, Team Purple nearly scored on a cornerkick, but Belisle’s header was off the mark.
Lopez rifled a 25-yard direct kick in the second half that was gloved by the keeper, Silva. Audrea Davila (Grand Prairie, Tx / South GP HS) hammered from a similar distance later in the game. Again, Silva made the stop.
Two other chances were snuffed out by the Ponies.
Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Cal / Elliot Christian) nearly beat Silva to a through ball before the two collided with four minutes remaining.
Garrison nearly kicked herself for shanking a wide open shot from iside 10 yards just a minute later. Pena (PAIN-ya) set her up with a splendid cross.
Defense bridles Lady Mustangs
This day, however, belonged to the Lions defense. United with sophomore keeper Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS), who earned her sixth shutout of the year, defenders were tougher than lawnmower tires.
Senior Jessica Powell-Roman (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS), Danielle Tesei (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS), Nella Ramirez (Waco, Tx / Waco HS) and Davila swept the backline as though ridding the area of landmines.
Few threatening bids got past them. When something snuck under the radar, Shingleton consumed it like osmosis.
One of the best chances for USW was a first half cross from Darlene Villegas to Laney Esperanza. Her header was well-applied, though Shingleton snarfed it with an overhead catch at the 25-minute mark.
Villegas triggered a bazooka shot from over 25-yards with twenty minutes to go. Again, Shingleton was there.
The red-clad Mustangs last gasp, blast was short-circuited. A centered pass to an unmarked player in front of the goal-mouth was blocked by an alert Pena. She whisked the would-be assist outside of the box with less than three minutes on the clock.
SAGU outshot Southwest by a 14-12 count. Both teams had eight shots on goal. USW had five of the game’s eight cornerkicks, while the Lions were called for 10 fouls; the Mustangs had six.
Shingleton evened her record at 6-6 by making eight saves.
A tribute to Jessica Powell-Roman
At halftime of the game the team honored Powell-Roman in a ceremony at midfield. The senior is the team’s lone captain, with different co-captains named for each game. A fitting tribute to an exemplary player.
Current RRAC Standings
Team RRAC Record RRAC Pct. Overall Record Overall Pct. Streak
Texas at Brownsville 8-0-1 .944 10-3-1 .750 Tie 1
Northwood 7-0-2 .889 11-3-2 .750 Tie 1
Texas Wesleyan 6-2-1 .722 9-5-2 .625 Won 4
Our Lady of the Lake 6-2-1 .722 8-6-1 .567 Tie 1
LSU-Shreveport 5-3-1 .611 8-6-1 .567 Tie 1
SAGU 4-5 .444 6-11 .353 Won 1
Bacone College 4-5 .444 5-12 .294 Won 2
Univ of Southwest 3-6 .333 3-9-1 .269 Lost 2
Huston-Tillotson 3-6 .333 3-13 .188 Lost 1
Texas College 1-8 .111 2-13 .133 Won 1
Wiley College 0-10 .000 0-13 .000 Lost 13