Jonathan Ramos scored a tie-breaking goal early in the second half to lead Southwestern Assemblies of God University to a 4-1 triumph over Wayland Baptist University in a men’s college soccer game Saturday.
The goal snapped a 1-1 tie as the Lions scored four unanswered times in the season opener for both teams.
SAGU yielded a goal in the fourth minute of the game just moments after narrowly missing two quick scoring chances themselves.
The Lions battled back against a determined Pioneers team and 106 degree heat. After scoring the equalizer on a beautiful goal by team captain Sam Cabrera, which was assisted by Waxahachie’s Alex Vazquez and Joe Ballah, momentum shifted.
Salvador Avila, a talented freshman, tapped a pass that Ramos who hammered it high into the net for a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute of play.
Less than two minutes later the pair team-up to score again. After 63:49 of play, Ramos connected with Avila inside the box, and he finished with a laser for a two goal margin.
Southwestern controlled the game from there. Cabrera, a 6-foot-2 defender, anchored the back line that allowed just 10 shots.
Robbie DeLeon, Will Elliot and the fleet-footed Riffin Kajangu were very active, as were midfielders James Swearingen, Parker Sturgeon and both Vazquez and Avila.
Sophomore goalkeeper Cesar Galvan led the Red River Athletic Conference in saves per game last fall. His 7.24 average ranked No. 12 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
He collected six on Saturday. Standing 5-foot-6, the effervescent Galvan is known as the “Little Cat.” What he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in instincts, speed and athleticism.
He made a spectacular save on a long shot from 20-yards out by leaping and tipping the would-be goal over the crossbar.
SAGU padded its lead with another Avila scoring kick in the 19th minute. He took advantage of a strong pass from Sturgeon for a 4-1 lead. For the day, Avila had two goals and an assist.
The victory made a winner out of Gerald Nichols in his first game as head coach of the Lions. His team was spirited, aggressive and focused. The Lions outshot the Pioneers, 17-10, and had a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Southwestern hosts Mid America Christian University on Aug. 24. It begins at 3 p.m. on campus.