In the scorching heat of Waxahachie, the only thing flying higher than the many dragonflies on the pitch was the scoring tandem of Madison Wells and Natalie Horton.
Wells, a junior, scored five goals to lead Southwestern to a 13-0 rout of the visiting Dallas Christian College Crusaders. In what may have broken several school records, she netted three consecutive kicks to extend a 1-0 lead enroute to an 8-0 halftime lead for the Lady Lions.
The first was a bazooka shot. She gained possession on a Saders turnover, turned and lifted a 25-yard blast that zoomed over the goalkeepers outstretched arms.
Moments later she took a left-to-right cross from Julia Lanford and banged in a one-timer less than 30 feet from pay dirt.
When Elyse James assisted on her third goal, there was little doubt of the gameís outcome. Wellsí performance featured what would have been a sixth score, a laser from outside the box that bounced off the crossbar.
Almost her equal was Horton. The talented, 5í10 freshman notched three unassisted goals, and only a holding call nullified a fourth, which was set up by a nifty pass from Daniela Garcia.
Hortonís hat trick included one from 18-yards out, one during a scrum in front of the goal and the third was a boom from her left foot.
Junior goalie Tracy Griffin had a lot of free time between the pipes, as she was untested yet credited with a shutout that the defense supplied.
Several players sparked the defensive showing, including James, Sarah Powell, Leah Richardson, Tabitha Ray and Kendall Murders.
Freshman Natalie Pena opened the floodgates five minutes into the game when she cashed in a pass from Alyssa Christensen.
James then stormed in from midfield, dribbling past everyone before booting a 10-yarder for a 5-0 lead. Christensen had another assist when she spotted junior Sara Vice, whose tally from the 15-yard mark gripped DCC into a 7-0 deficit.
In winning his debut as head coach at SAGU, Tim Grant had his troops attack from their own end of the field, using an effective ball-control game to locate open teammates in scoring position.
The play limited the scoring, but forced the Lions to execute their offense, rather than simply capitalizing on Crusader mistakes. It worked well. Wells banged in a shot following a J. Powell assist for a 10-0 advantage. Garcia was credited with her first of two goals on an unassisted netter.
Wells† poked in a rebound for a 12-0 lead. The capper came later in the game when S. Powell stole the ball on SAGUís end of the field, poked in a rebound for a 12-0 lead.
The capper came later in the game when S. Powell stole the ball on SAGUís end of the field, pivoted and lifted a bullís-eye to a streaking Garcia. The 5í4 sophomore drove down the right sideline, angled toward the goal, then made a fake, moved to her left, and ripped a crowd-pleasing shot that resulted in SAGUís bakerís dozen.
First half goals hold up
†A pair of first half goals was enough for a 2-1 Southwestern win over Dallas Christian College on Tuesday.
In a fiercely contested season debut for both teams, the Lions parlayed their speed and aggressive offense to score two quick goals.
Just 10 minutes into the contest the Lions struck first with a pair of plays by their coast-to-coast combo. Jesse Eggman poked a pass to Samuel Cabrera who knocked it in from eight yards out.
The play was so nice they did it twice. Moments later Cabrera assisted Eggman, who took advantage of an out-of-position goalkeeper for a 2-0 edge they would never relinquish.
The Lions kept the pressure on but failed to convert any of numerous golden opportunities to break the game open. Offside violations by overeager players, and some near misses squelched potential tallies.
Bryan King had four attempts nullified by saves by the DCC goalie and an eighth offsides call. SAGU struggled to maintain possession of the ball throughout the game, but had an airtight defense rescue them.
From start to finish, goalie Aleksander Lesichkov was sensational as he protected the lead. His spirited play and leadership proved his mettle.
He made a number of memorable saves, including one on a high bounder with 16 minutes left in the first half. His scoop of a hot shot just inside the post prior to halftime was another.
SAGU defenders stepped up with critical steals and stops and held the Crusaders scoreless for the first 80 minutes.
Those with key efforts were Diego Garcia; Fernando Lariz, who halted a breakaway attempt; Garcia with a header that deflected an indirect kick; captain James Jones; Nathan Horton, Shelby Smith; and Lariz, who cleared a pass during a late scoring bid.
In the end it was Lesichkov (pronounced Luh seechí koff) who refused to yield ground or a goal to attacking forwards.
A Dallas Christian corner kick in the final minute saw Lesichkov collide with a Crusader in a bid for the ball.
So did the Lions.