Fluke Goal Costly to Lady Lions
SAGU Drops 1-0 Game to Central Christian
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- An errant pass turned into a fortuitous goal for the visitors from Central Christian College. The Lady Tigers parlayed the score into a 1-0 win over Southwestern Assemblies of God University on Friday afternoon.
Despite dominating the possession game and racking up a huge advantage in shots, 18-8, SAGU fell to 1-4 on the season. It was also the fourth time they have been held to a goal. CCC (McPherson, Ks) is now 1-1-1.
At the 35:51 mark in the first half (9:09 before halftime), the Tigers' Kim Rodriguez booted a short pass to Stephanie Street, who was outside the penalty area on the right flank. She sent a high ball over the top, trying to connect with a teammate inside. The over-pass bounced harmlessly towards the goal, where senior keeper Tracy Griffin (Wylie, Tx / Wylie HS) awaited.
The bounding ball bounced once, about waist high. The second bounce didn't. It skirted straight along the ground. The charmed carom surprised not only Griffin, who was second in the Red River Athletic Conference in saves in 2009, but the entire Central team. The ball glanced horizontally, just inches above the grass and past Griffin.
When interviewed following the game, the Nike brand ball said it was inspired by the bad hop that eluded Bill Buckner of the 1986 Boston Red Sox.
Central rarely threatened to score before or after. To be fair, most of Southwestern's shots were taken from the outside as the Lady Lions often settled for long range attempts to tie the score. Seldom did they get the ball inside for a quality shot. Credit the Tigers' defense.
SAGU's Best Chances to Score
After 26 minutes of scoreless play, SAGU sent a pass to sophomore Natalie Horton (Corsicana, Tx / Corsicana HS), their strong-legged forward. She broke free in the penalty area before being knocked to the ground on the right side. The center official called a foul, which resulted in a penalty kick. Coach Tim Grant sent senior middie, Madison Wells (Farmer's Branch, Tx / R.L. Turner HS) to take the high percentage kick. Her attempt was scooped up near the left post by goalie, Leah Stringer.
Other scoring bids by SAGU included a line drive boot by Wells that sailed just high of the crossbar after a pass from Noelle Pugliese (Lee's Summit, Mo / Lee's Summit North HS). Pugliese (pug-LEES) missed when her blast was 2-feet beyond the corner. Nicole Martinez (Cortez, Colorado / Montezuma HS) fired a curve ball from the left with twelve minutes to play in the first half, but Stringer snared the shot.
Three and a half minutes into the second stanza, Pugliese fired from 16 yards out that Stringer bobbled, but still managed to keep out of the goal. Later, Wells connected with Horton with 19:20 to play, where her laser from 20-yards away hooked inside the left post. Again, Stringer was up to the task, reeling it in.
The team's final three chances to score were thwarted. Wells had a brief opening in the box with under ten to play, but she was well-defended before she could get off a shot. Sarah Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS) uncorked from 24 yards out and Horton ripped from 28 yards with 6:38 left, but neither found nylon.
Central denied any threatening attempts down the stretch.
State Capital Saturday
The Lady Lions will travel to play Concordia University in Austin on Saturday afternoon at 5pm. The C-Tex Lady Tornados will bring an 0-2 mark into the game. SAGU returns home next Saturday, September 18, when Bacone College comes to town for an 11am game.
Deja Vu: Lack of Support
The Lady Lions defense, which yielded just 2.2 goals per game last season, got little support from the offense. During the 2009 campaign, SAGU was shutout ten times, including two stretches of play when they went scoreless for four consecutive matches. Counting the last four games from last season, the team has been unable to score in eight of their last nine games.