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Lady Lions impressive defense not enough vs. WBU

Team travels to OBU on Tuesday night

pena-at-lumpkinsWAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A determined defensive effort by Southwestern Assemblies of God University against a favored foe came up short in a 1-0 loss to Wayland Baptist University.

SAGU shut them out for seventy minutes before the Pioneers broke through to score the lone goal on a corner kick.

Freshman midfielder Meghan Ward sent a hook towards the goal mouth in the 70th minute.  Lady Lions’ keeper  Haley Shingleton (Deer Park, Tx / Deer Park HS) approached the incoming orb, perhaps a tad too aggressively. It went over her outstretched hands.

Resembling a curving golf ball, the ‘draw’ sailed towards the far post. SAGU defender Vicky Hagemeier (Kalemie, Congo/Complex Scolaire Thabiti) tried to clear the ball, but it grazed off her midsection before crossing over the goal line.

Wayland’s goalie, Keri Myers, fended off any SAGU threat down the stretch to complete the victory.

The Pioneers are now 10-4 in all games and 4-1 in league action. They hold a 25-19 edge in goals scored and yielded.

“We controlled the game up until that point,” said Mandy Fortner, SAGU’s third year Head Coach. “It was very well played game by our team.”

“We moved the ball well from the back to the front, found strategic shots but couldn't finish them.”

The loss, SAGU’s sixth straight, dropped their overall record to 2-9. They are 0-3 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, though they have yielded just four goals in those league games.

The Lady Lions have shown steady progress in both their defense and in the midfield.

Playing against superior talent in the SAC has revealed SAGU’s need for offensive playmakers on the frontline.

Surrendering just 23 scores, the team has netted only five goals in eleven games. Only three times have the Lions allowed three goals or more.

A year ago the Pride produced 28 in their best season ever at 6-11-1.

Fortner admired the performance of her players, especially senior Natalie Pena (Dallas, Tx / Tulsa Union HS). Normally splitting time as a forward and midfielder, like many of her teammates, now focus on defending in the Sooner.

“Penny did a great job shutting down their most threatening player (Jessica Bell) up top,” the coach pointed out.

“We looked really good and I honestly saw the game ending in a tie,” she added. “When we allowed that one goal, during the last 15 (minutes) we were shut down. They took the majority of their shots in the closing minutes of the game.”

Madeleine Thornley (Flower Mound, Tx / Marcus HS), a midfielder, provided the Lady Lions with three shots on goal. Justine Lopez (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) had another shot that was thwarted by WBU.

The game was just the team’s second game on campus this season.

Lady Lions begin stretch run

SAGU has seven games remaining, four of them at home.thornley-vs-ollu

Next up is Oklahoma Baptist University on Tuesday, October 15, in Shawnee, Ok. It will be played under the lights (5:00pm) on the north side of the OBU campus.

The Bison, who are receiving votes in the NAIA national poll, are 6-5 in all games and 4-1 in the SAC.

The remainder of the schedule includes:

Oct. 19  @  Northwood University (3-5-1), 1pm
Oct. 24  vs  John Brown University (8-3), 2pm (broadcast on SAGU Sports Live)
Oct. 26  vs  St. Gregory’s University (5-5-1), 1pm
Oct. 29  vs  University Science & Arts of Oklahoma (2-8), 1pm
Nov. 2  @  Texas Wesleyan University (8-1-2), 5pm
Nov. 4  vs  Oklahoma City University (8-3), time TBA

The total overall record of the final seven opponents is 40-30-4.

A year ago the Lady Lions finished the season with a 5-3-1 mark in the Red River Athletic Conference.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

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