Both SAGU men’s and women’s teams traveled to the University of Houston at Victoria over the weekend, but both came away with losses.
A young and improving women’s soccer team from Southwestern Assemblies of God University had its moments against the University of Houston at Victoria on Saturday.
But it was the equally young Jaguars who cashed in on their opportunities for a 5-0 win that was much closer than the score indicates.
A penalty near their goal called against the Lady Lions resulted in a penalty kick in the game’s third minute was all the scoring in a first half that was played in a rainstorm.
The Jaguars, who are now 5-3 this season as an NAIA independent, added a second goal on corner kick that was headed past freshman goalie Haley Shingleton.
SAGU’s defense, their strength this season, kept them in the game until the closing 10 minutes, when UH-Victoria scored on a breakaway and added two more goals in the final four minutes.
The Lady Lions dropped their third straight match and slipped to 2-5. They were shutout for the fourth time this season.
Assistant coach Allie Gudmundson reported the team struggled to finish several of their best bids to score, but “connected on a number of offensive passes while playing at our fastest pace all season.”
Firepower on offense, a challenge to develop, shows positive signs for head coach Mandy Fortner’s team.
Jessica Powell had two solid shots on goal and Noelle Pugliese had another chance, but all were denied by UHV keeper Tabitha Segovia.
Senior Dani Garcia, the team leader in both goals and assists (with three of each), fired a pair of shots, but couldn’t put one through against the Jaguars.
Shingleton led the defensive efforts for SAGU with five saves. The Jaguars had the game’s only three corner kicks. The Lady Lions were assessed 10 fouls compared to UHV’s eight.
SAGU returns to the pitch with two road games, Thursday at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, and Saturday at LSU-Shreveport. Both matches have a 1:00pm start time.
The Northwood University Lady Knights are off to an 0-7-1 after finishing last season 13-4-3 and winning the Red River Athletic Conference. They have been outscored 35-5 in pre-conference games.
Last season Northwood defeated SAGU 1-0.
The Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s soccer team, needing some thunder on the field, had their game with the University of Houston at Victoria end in darkness instead.
After playing in steady rain and being interrupted by lightning, the contest was eventually called after 72 minutes due to a lack of sunlight.
The host Jaguars (7-1) shutout SAGU 3-0.
The only score of the game in the first 45 minutes was an own-goal, deflected off a Southwestern player, which appeared to be all that separated these fairly even squads.
After a lightning induced delay, UH-Victoria scored a quick goal and added another in the closing minute before officials halted the game with nearly 20 minutes remaining. The result will stand as an official game.
Both teams had three corner kicks, often an indication of who is pressing the action. The physical play of UHV led them to being cited for 11 fouls, compared to eight against SAGU (2-3-2).
“They were a very physical team,” Nichols said. “There was a lot of grabbing, clutching, and pulling of our players’ uniforms, even some elbows. But much of it was allowed by the official. They did, however, play a very effective brand of defense.”
The Jaguars, who have now shutout four straight teams and five during the season, have also outscored their opposition by a 23-3 count. Currently, SAGU has scored 15 and yielded 16 goals.
The Lions best chances to score were on kicks by Danny Martinez, Manny Paz and Carlos Gonzalez. The trio of playmakers have all been recently activated and could give the Lions the scoring punch the team needs as they enter conference play.
SAGU will start their 11-game season in the Red River Athletic Conference with a pair of away games this week. Today they will play in nearby Cedar Hill against Northwood University.
The Knights are 2-4 this season after going 8-10 last fall. Tied for fourth in the RRAC, Northwood blanked the Lions 2-0 last season.
Saturday, Sept. 24, the Lions will be at LSU-Shreveport for a 3 p.m. match. The Pilots (1-4) have gotten off to a slow beginning this fall. LSUS went 9-7 in 2010, including a 3-0 besting of SAGU.