Mustangs Escape Lions in Overtime
Southwestern Opens Season with 1-0 Loss in the Ozarks
CONWAY, Arkansas -- A defensive breakdown five minutes into overtime allowed the host Central Baptist College to escape with a 1-0 soccer victory on Monday over Southwestern Assemblies of God University in the first game of the season for both teams.
CBC was attacking the middle of area just outside the Lady Lions box early in OT, moments before the Mustangs scored the game winning goal. With the SAGU defense collapsing to thwart the offensive, they left a player open to the right of the goal. She took a pass and booted a wide open shot past a defenseless goalkeeper Tracy Griffin (Wylie, Tx / Wylie HS).
"Tracy didn't really have a chance on that play," said Mandy Fortner, the Lady Lions' Assistant Coach. "But she played outstanding in goal all day. She made some great, diving saves. Tracy also took a couple of pretty hard hits to her right calf and lower back, but finished the game without missing a beat. She was in obvious pain, though."
Central, who edged SAGU a year ago in Waxahachie, 2-1, had the upper hand in shots on goal and controlled the ball well, Fortner said. "They were a well coached team. Still, we were able to get off a few good shots. We had our chances, but mostly, we were forced to play defense, and our ladies were outstanding."
Several players drew noteworthy praise for their performances. Sophomore Natalie Horton (Corsicana, Tx / Corsicana HS) was moved from her Midfield position to an Outside Defender. "She shutdown the attacks on her side," Fortner pointed out, "winning every airball with her head as well as stopping a breakaway with a clean tackle in the box to prevent a shot."
Daniella Garcia (Tucson, Az / Rio Rico HS), a junior Center Middie, created multiple scoring bids. Freshman Kerri Guinn (Nevada, Tx) sent two crossing passes to teammates who were unable to finish the plays with goals. One of her crosses was nearly converted by fellow freshman Lyndi Garrison (Hastings, Mich), whose aggressive maneuver saw her attack the ball and the Mustangs' goalie simultaneously.
Head Coach Tim Grant will lead his troops onto the pitch again on Wednesday afternoon in Oklahoma City in a battle with Mid-America Christian University. The contest has a 2:00pm start time. The Lady Evangels were 8-10-1 last fall after posting a 6-13 mark the year before.
SAGU and MACU have dual affiliations as members in both the NAIA and the National Christian College Athletic Association, where the two institutions have a healthy athletic history. Southwestern went 4-10-1 a year ago.
SAGU Returns Home on September 4 and 6
Team Lioness begins this season with four consecutive road games. Their home debut is on Saturday, September 4, against the University of Dallas at 3:00pm. Two days later, SAGU welcomes Southwestern College to Waxahachie for an 11am game on Labor Day. SWC is from Kansas.