Ponies edge Lady Lions, 2-1, in soccer
Garcia theft and goal gives SAGU 1-0 lead
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The women’s soccer team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, now in their sixth season, continue to show improvement.
Monday they were on the short end of a 2-1 decision against Arkansas’ Central Baptist College in a game they had several chances to tie. The CBC Mustangs, 9-8-1 last fall, had to rally from a 1-0 deficit in order to beat a Southwestern team that is developing talent and depth.
It’s been said the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. Well, the Lady Lions are showing signs of getting into a groove that will take them places compared to experiencing a season of getting buried.
A year ago SAGU posted a 1-15-1 and were outscored 58-7. They were shutout a dozen times. Such is life in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), where there are about 200 colleges with established programs.
Under first-year head coach Mandy Fortner, this edition of Lady Lions has ratcheted up their defensive intensity after a spring and summer of focused conditioning. The result is a deeper team that has stamina and the resolve of a badger defending its burrow.
While their offense is still a work in progress, they are proving themselves much more competitive by keeping scores low. That takes pressure off of their offense.
Case in point is the current season, where they are 2-4 after Monday’s setback, and have been outscored this season by just a 13-9 count. Two of their losses were by single goals in winnable contests. On Monday they were outshot 17-10, and remained in the game until the closing seconds.
“I like this team,” Coach Fortner said. “They are in shape, playing better, and are making opponents work for what they get. We’re contesting most every shot and are growing in confidence.”
SAGU scored the game’s first goal when Daniela Garcia (Tucson, Az / Rio Rico HS), a 5-foot-4 senior, stole the ball from a defender and found herself one-on-one with the goalie. She moved into the box, shifted to her left, and then blistered a low shot that eluded the keeper’s outstretched left hand in the game’s twelfth minute.
Sophomore Leah Crook countered with two goals for CBC, who were able to stave off a frenzied second half by the Lady Lions.
Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS) had the best prospects to score for SAGU. One was a blast from the right side that missed the back post in the first half. Ashley Nerat (Menomonee Falls, Wisc / Menomonee Falls HS) set her up with a pass in the box, but the chance to deliver the equalizer was broken up at the five yard mark.
Haley Shingleton (Pasadena, Tx / Deer Park HS) had a handful of saves, including a point-blank shot in the sixtieth minute, to keep the score within reach. Jessica Powell (Terrell, Tx / Terrell HS), Shelby Morgan (Silsbee, Tx / Silsbee HS) and Gloria Lozano (El Paso, Tx / Faith Christian) played pivotal roles to thwart CBC’s bid to build a cushion.
The Lady Lions have a twelve day break before playing the University of Houston at Victoria (3-1) on Saturday, September 17. The games against the NAIA Jaguars is slated for 3:00pm at The Cage, their on-campus field. It is their final non-conference match prior to the start of eight league games in the Red River Athletic Conference.
Cats Report Card
|2006||0 - 14 - 0||4 - 119||0 - 9|
|2007||2 - 15||19 - 82||0 - 12|
|2008||2 - 14 - 2||19 - 70||3 - 11|
|2009||4 - 11 - 1||22 - 36||3 - 10|
|2010||1 - 15 - 1||7 - 58||1 - 12|
|2011||2 - 4||9 - 13||2 - 3|
|Key: Record is Won-Lost-Tied. GF-GA is Goals For SAGU and Goals Against. ShO indicates the number of times SAGU shutout an opponent compared to the number of times the Lady Lions were held scoreless by the opposition.|
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