Oral Roberts hold off Strong UIW Attack

Photo: UIW Athletics

After a strong pre-season, UIW men’s soccer did not bring that form in to the regular season as they fell in their opener. Oral Roberts won the physical, and at times angry, battle to get a 2-0 win in the season opener for both teams.

It was a strong start from UIW when new midfielder Tom Bibby sent in a ball for forward Ben Conway, who controlled well with his chest. That control allowed Conway the chance to volley, but he got under the ball sending it well over the bar.

The star for Oral Roberts was their goalkeeper, who kept the Cardinals at bay throughout the first half, making four huge saves. That allowed the Golden Eagles to open the scoring in the 32nd minute when they punished UIW for some horrendous defending. A Santiago Riveros free-kick was sent in to a wide open Matthew Rogers, left with an easy header to give Oral Roberts a 1-0 halftime lead.

Just five minutes in to the second half UIW were handed a big advantage when Oral Roberts were reduced to ten men. Rafael Rivera slid in with excessive force on his opponent, forcing the referee to show him a straight red card.

That allowed the Cardinals to press even harder at the goal, looking to find an equalizer against the Oral Roberts defense. But that Golden Eagles defense remained as strong as they had throughout the first half, holding out UIW.

Those wasted opportunities came back to haunt UIW as they conceded again in the 69th minute and again through a Riveros free-kick. Riveros sent in the ball again and this time found Isaac Fraley who easily headed home after another UIW set-piece defensive lapse.

Things got even worse for UIW in the 75th minute when they lost their man advantage after Fernando Laverde was given his second yellow card. That really ended UIW’s hopes, they kept the attack up but now with the numbers even, ORU’s defense only improved further.

Last Second Heartbreak for Dynamo

Photo: Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo was left frustrated on Wednesday night as they gave away the latest of equalizers to Seattle Sounders at BBVA Compass Stadium. In stoppage time, Seattle managed a stunning goal to steal a point from Houston in a 1-1 draw.

As has been the norm under Wade Barrett, Houston Dynamo played defensively for much of the match, looking to hold Seattle back. For over 90 minutes that tactic worked, but in stoppage time Nicolas Lodeiro finally broke through with his strong strike after creating space for himself.

The first half was phenomenally defensive from both sides as neither side wanted to give up any chances that could prove fatal. That left the fans that showed up to a midweek match frustrated, and continues to make a struggling Dynamo side an attractive ticket option in a competitive Houston marketplace.

Fans didn’t really have anything to get excited about until well after the hour mark as Houston Dynamo opened the scoring in the 75th minute. Dynamo striker Andrew Wenger, only on the park for 15 minutes, was able to find the goal. Alex stole possession, allowing him to set up Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark who gave the ball to Wenger who shot powerfully across the face and in to the back of the net.

Dynamo thought that would be the game winner but Seattle pushed, immediately after going behind and eventually that pressure told. Just moments away from the final whistle, Lodeiro was able to create the space and score with a perfect finish to steal a point from Houston for Seattle.

FC Dallas Manage draw in Nicaragua

Photo: MexSport/CONCACAF

A late comeback gave FC Dallas a valuable Champions League point as they fought back against Nicaraguan club Real Esteli on Wednesday night. After conceding early, Dallas did well and managed a 1-1 draw in the match to go top of the group.

Just four minutes in to the match, FC Dallas gave away a free-kick just inside from the corner flag. That allowed Emilio Lopez to send in a curling ball, perfectly finding Elvis Figueroa who easily headed it home, looping it over the keeper for the opener.

But FC Dallas quickly fought back and just two minutes later they also earned a free-kick just inside from the corner flag. Mauro Rosales sent the ball to the far post, which allowed Atiba Harris to powerfully head the ball home for a 1-1 draw.

After that frantic start the two teams started to settle down and battle in to a tight match, without the fireworks. The remainder of the half was fought out in midfield and the two teams could not create clear chances and went to the break level at one.

The second half started in much the same way as the first as FC Dallas again gave away a free-kick in a dangerous position early. Luis Copete looked to shoot directly on to goal, but his effort went very high and over the bar.

FC Dallas had their first opportunity of the half came in the 61st minute when Tesho Akindele was able to head the ball for Getterson. That played Getterson through on goal, but Getterson’s attempted first-touch chipped volley which went just over the bar.

It should have been 2-1 for FC Dallas in the 79th minute when FC Dallas’ Carlos Lizarzo and Akindele were able to team up and play in Dallas striker Michael Barrios. Barrios got the ball from Akindele’s cross, but Real Esteli goalkeeper Justo Lorente came across quickly and made the save to keep the point and the 1-1 draw which held to the final whistle.


Three San Antonio FC Players in Team of the week squad

Rafael Castillo looks for the ball against Seattle on Saturday night (Darren Abate/USL)

After a two win week, San Antonio FC has seen three players named to the United Soccer League Team of the Week, announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon. Midfielder, and acting captain, Rafael Castillo, was named to the team of the week 11 while goalkeeper Matt Cardone and midfielder Cesar Elizondo were named on the bench.

This is the second time that Castillo has made the 11, following on from his performance on April 30th, although he made the team of the week bench previously on July 16th. Castillo was given the Man of the Match award following the match on Saturday following his starring performance against Seattle Sounders 2.

Castillo scored the lone goal of the match against Seattle on Wednesday, his fourth of the season which ties him for the club lead in league matches. He could also have had an assist as his square ball late in the match just couldn’t find a team mate.

Elizondo had his best week since joining the club as he was a big factor in both matches in the last week, most especially in his own man of the match performance against Arizona United. In that match Elizondo was involved in two goals, managing a goal and an assist in a strong performance.

After an injury to Josh Ford, Matt Cardone was forced in to a starting role with San Antonio FC last week for the second time in the season. Cardone took full advantage of the opportunity, having two strong matches in goal including a phenomenal save in the match against Seattle on Saturday. That saw him earn a clean sheet in that match, with seven saves throughout the weekend; enough to earn him a place on the team of the week bench, beaten by Rio Grande Valley Toros goalkeeper Callum Irving for the starting spot.

UTSA Katieann Lochte wins CUSA Offensive Player of the week

After a strong week UTSA have their first player of the week honors of the season after midfielder Katieann Lochte was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. The award gets Lochte’s collegiate career off to a perfect start as she led the Roadrunners defense through the opening weekend of the season.

In two matches on the road in Texas, Lochte opened her collegiate career with three goals and both game winning goals on the weekend. Lochte played the full 180 minutes in both matches as she led the UTSA defense to nine goals, a conference lead.

Her first two goals came in the opener at Abilene Christian on Friday night, where she scored both of those goals as part of a dominant first half performance from the Roadrunners. The second of those goals was considered the game winner as Abilene managed to pull one goal back.

Her third goal is credited as the game winner against Sam Houston State as she scored UTSA’s third goal in the five goal night. That gave UTSA the two goal cushion that secured them the win and gave UTSA a perfect 2-0 record, a rare thing in UTSA history.

Lochte joined UTSA after being home schooled and playing club soccer with Classics Elite in San Antonio, serving as the captain for the last four years. Lochte was in the Olympic Development Program pool and is tabbed as a discovery player for Challenge Soccer Club, Houston in the ECNL.

UTSA keep big wins Coming

The Roadrunners have continued a strong start to their season as they won the second match of their season, again with a big score line, coming through in the final nine minutes. The Roadrunners recorded a strong 5-2 win over Sam Houston State in Huntsville on Sunday night.

The result means UTSA are 2-0 for only the third time in program history, two of those have happened under current head coach Greg Sheen. It was a strong performance from the Roadrunners, but they still could not find the winning goals until late in the match.

UTSA started the match well taking full charge of the match in the opening minutes but it took some time to open the scoring. The Roadrunners were merciless throughout the match, unleashing 26 shots, scoring with slightly under 1/5 of the attempts taken.

The opening goal came in the 16th minute when UTSA midfielder Marianne Hernandez was able to send a cross in for her team mate, defender Melissa Finley. The ball came in for Finley who headed it past the keeper to score her first ever collegiate goal.

After that opening goal things were quieter until the Roadrunners were able to double their lead, and it was the in form forward Kaja Skare who scored the goal. It came after the Roadrunners were given a penalty, which allowed Skare to step up and bury the penalty.

The Bearkats managed to close out the half well, defending and keeping UTSA out, but still they couldn’t find a goal. In the 64th minute that goal finally came when Kaylee Davis found the back of the net to pull Sam Houston back in to the match.

But in the final nine minutes UTSA exploded and really wrapped up the result scoring three goals in just four minutes. The first goal came in the 82nd minute when the ball was played to UTSA midfielder Katieann Lochte, who easily scored her third goal of the season.

But 27 seconds after that goal the BearKats were back in to the match as they were able to score again. That again closed the gap to just one goal, but the Roadrunners were not done and they were determined to seal the win.

The run of goals continued immediately from the kick-off as UTSA forward Brianna Livecchi ran down the side for the Roadrunners to find her. The Roadrunners did so even quicker than Sam Houston as they took just 19 seconds to find Livecchi who buried it to restore the two goal lead.

Four minutes from time UTSA wrapped up the big win when midfielder Nicole Galan was able to set up the chance. Galan’s cross went in for forward Jordyn Lacy who was able to score her first ever collegiate goal in the big win.

UTSA Start Season with big win

UTSA got their season off to the perfect start as they tore apart Abilene Christian on the road on Friday night. UTSA claimed a commanding 4-1 victory to create confidence in a side which has struggled in recent years.

It took just 11 minutes for UTSA to go two goals up as they controlled the match in the opening stages. The Roadrunners used all that strong early possession to take quick control of the match, following on from their early start in their UIW match.

The first goal came seven minutes in to the match when Olivia Nichols’ shot was deflected by the Abilene Christian defense. That only deflected the shot in to the post, allowing Katieann Lochte to react the fastest, and send the ball past ACU keeper Kelsey Dombrowski.

Just four minutes later the Roadrunners had doubled the lead Lochte was able to score a brace in her first competitive collegiate appearance. 30 yards out Lochte was able to create space for herself, allowing her to hit a powerful shot past the keeper.

After such a frantic opening there was slight break in the scoring, before UTSA added their third goal in the 23rd minute. Sara Gibbon’s free-kick deflected, allowing Marianne Hernandez to get just enough on it to set up Kaja Skare for a simple finish.

Before the half-hour it was four, as the Roadrunners scored again in the 28th minute, when Nicole Gain found Skare. Again the Wildcats gave UTSA far too much space from 30 yards out, this allowed Skare the chance to bury her powerful strike.

In the last minute of the first half ACU gave themselves some hope of finding a way back in to the match. The ball was sent in for Shay Johnson who headed home to give the Wildcats a sniff of finding a win.

The second half saw the Roadrunners look to maintain the possession as they went to hold on to that lead. That really killed the second half of the match, as the Roadrunners cancelled out the Wildcats easily for the win.

UIW men Complete Preseason Undefeated

Photo: UIW Athletics

Preseason for UIW men finished in perfect fashion on Sunday night when the Cardinals managed a 2-1 victory over UTRGV at Benson Stadium. The match was their last hit-out ahead of the regular season starting next Friday.

It was a strong offensive performance from the Cardinals, who have kept their perfect record against the Vaqueros intact.  But much like their first ever match against UTRGV the Cardinals couldn’t really take the match away from UTRGV despite dominating.

Five minutes in to the match, UIW had the lead after some strong work from forward Ben Conway. The Englishman made space for himself with a strong dribble past two defenders and then hit a strong strike with his left.

It was still UIW dominating the match, but they were unable to break through after a strong defensive performance from UTRGV. UIW midfielder Miguel Ojeda got a powerful shot away in the 24th minute but Vaqueros goalkeeper Leo Castillo made a strong save to keep it out.

But on the half-hour UIW finally broke through for their second goal of the match after a strong offensive performance. UIW midfielder Robert Pratt was able to play through his forward O’Neal Moore at the far post, allowing Moore a simple finish.

With a two goal lead at half-time the Cardinals looked to just control possession from there out, as they tried out combinations ahead of the season proper. That restricted UTRGV to no shots throughout the match, apart from one just ahead of the hour.

That one shot came after a foul in the box led to a penalty for the Vaqueros and it was that penalty which led to UTRGV’s lone shot of the match. Jaako Hietikko stepped up to hit the penalty and buried it to create a tense finish. But UIW easily held on and managed the 2-1 victory, heading to their season opener high on confidence.

Wild Weather and Venue Change Hurts UIW Women

Photo: UIW Athletics

Difficult conditions and a change of venue made life difficult for UIW as they fell to a heavy defeat to North Texas in their season opener. Mean Green ran out handy winners, beating the Cardinals 4-0 to start the season for both teams at Denton High School on Friday night.

With heavy rain in the Denton area, the decision was made to move the match, switching it away from the UNT campus. That put the match on a turf pitch, which UIW play on every week, at the nearby Denton High School.

Those issues didn’t bother UNT who opened the scoring after just three minutes after a foul in the box gave them a penalty. UNT forward, Rachel Holden stepped up to the spot and duly dispatched the penalty for the early lead.

Despite UNT dominating the possession, the Cardinals held on defensively for much of the half but they gave away another penalty in the 27th minute. With Holden the one fouled, it was left to midfielder Marchelle Davis to take it, and she made no mistake, doubling Mean Green’s lead.

Down at half-time, but only due to penalties, the Cardinals may have gone in to the break confident of turning things around. But just three minutes in to the second half Davis had her brace after UNT defender Tori Phillips played her through, allowing Davis to shoot across the face and in to the back of the net.

The match was well and truly wrapped up in the 76th minute by an absolutely stunning goal. Afforded space from 30 yards, Phillips was able to launch a rocket of a shot, which left UIW keeper Sydney Huntsinger no chance and wrapped up the 4-0 win.

The win was history making for UNT as it was their 300th in program history, also making it the 300th win for head coach John Hedlund.

UIW men come From Behind in Preseason Friendly

Photo: UIW Athletics

UIW has had a solid hit-out ahead of their season starting as they managed a 2-1 win over San Jacinto College at Benson Stadium on Friday night. The Cardinals are in their last season of transition to Division I and entering a crucial period in their history.

San Jacinto actually started the match well, and it took them just three minutes to open the scoring as they took advantage of the early possession. It was a good finish from Heiko Leinweber which gave San Jacinto a lead no one was expecting.

With the lead, San Jacinto looked to defend and hold their advantage, giving away the possession to UIW. It took until the 33rd minute for the Cardinals to finally get their goal when midfielder Robert Pratt found space to shoot, with the ball taking a deflection before hitting the back of the net to have the match tied at the half.

The second half saw the possession remain with the Cardinals as they held the ball and looked to try and get the result. But sitting on what would be a morale lifting draw, San Jacinto was determined to make that task difficult, with Paul Tyson proving a rock in the San Jacito goal.

But UIW finally broke through in the 72nd minute to take the victory as they won a corner, which was sent in by Pratt. Pratt’s ball fell perfectly for UIW defender Isaac Currie who headed home the match winner to start the UIW season preparations perfectly.