Lady Lions Shutout in RRAC Opener, 4-0
Defending Champion Lady Knights Play the Part
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University womens soccer team began conference play on Thursday afternoon wuth a 4-0 loss to Northwood University on a warm, 86 degree, breezy fall afternoon. The defending regular season champions in the Red River Athletic Conference had little trouble scoring or controlling the pace of the game after grabbing a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
The Lady Lions struggled, failing to register a shot until midway into the second half. The setback spoiled another solid effort by senior goalie, Tracy Griffin (Wylie, Tx / Wylie HS) had a solid effort between the pipes, but had little chance to make a play on three of the Lady Knights' scores.
Natalie Carter, a 5-foot-3 forward from Lancaster, Texas, had a standout performance for Northwood. Open in the middle, she booted a pass from Audrey Gatlin, from 14 yards out to score the only goal her team would need at the 3:45 mark. Helena Melin, a senior out of Sweden, had an active day at forward.
Melin (pronounced MUH-lin) almost scored on a breakaway fifteen minutes later, but was defended by Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS). The Lady Knights made it 2-0 two minutes later when Melin spotted Carter open in a seam on the left side. Carter one-timed a blast from close-range that Griffin was able to get a hand on, almost stopping the rocket. The ball went slowly to Griffin's left and rolled harmlessly past the line less than twenty minutes into the game.
Northwood kept the pressure on, with the ball staying almost exclusively on SAGU's end of the pitch. They broke through again with an unmarked Melin scoring, thanks to an assist from Kristen Laborde. At the half, the Knights led 3-0, and had a 17-0 shots advantage. They also had all five of the game's cornerkicks to that point.
Next Up for Lady Lions, LSU-Shreveport
SAGU, 2-8 overall and 0-1 in the RRAC, will take on Louisiana State University at Shreveport (5-3, 1-0) on Saturday, October 2, at 11:00am.
It will be the last occasion to see the Lady Lions at home over the next three weeks. SAGU will be on the road for the next six games after Saturday. Southwestern will play their final two home games of the season on October 28 and 29 against Texas Wesleyan and University of the Southwest.
The LSUS Lady Pilots are 5-3 following Thursday's 4-0 shutout of Huston-Tillotson University.
Game Notes from the Second Half
The second half saw the Lady Knights continue their assault on the goal. Flo Carrillo (Waxahachie, Tx / Waxahachie HS), a freshman forward, dropped all the way back on defense to block a shot in the opening minutes. Still, momets later, Northwood extended their lead with a wide open goal by Laborde, who capitalized on a pass from Gatlin. The efficient passing game had given NU a 4-0 lead. But they took only one shot over the final 30+ minutes.
The Lady Lions had a 4-3 edge in shots after intermission. Griffin made a superb save, spoiling Carter's bid for a hat trick with a deflection of a shot from 15-yards. She then made another on a Carter attempt before NU coach Tyler Powell rested her for the duration.
Southwestern had a few opportunities to avoid their seventh scoreless game. Noelle Pugliese (Lee's Summit, Mo / Lee's Summit North HS) centered a pass to Madison Wells (Farmers Branch, Tx / R.L. Turner HS) in the 79th minute. Wells' kick was saved by goalie Lyndzey Goff.
Sarah Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) drilled a line drive shot from 20 yards out, the Lions' most impressive chance with 12:41 remaining. A Nicole Martinez (Cortez, Colo / Montezuma HS) shot was denied with just four minutes to go.
The game ended with Northwood resembling a conference contender again. Final stats saw the Knights holding a 20-4 lead in shots, and 6-1 in corners. There were only five fouls called, three against Team Lioness, none in the second half.