Our Lady of the Lake win Both Defensive Player of the Week Awards

Photo: OLLU Athletics

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has claimed two more Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) player of the week awards which were announced by the league office on Tuesday. Women’s goalkeeper Gabriela Lopez won the defensive player of the week while men’s defender Angel De la Garza won the men’s version of the award.

Lopez only needed one match this week to claim the award as she managed a clean sheet in the 3-0 win over Huston-Tillotson. That result gave Lopez a new OLLU soccer record as that was her 12th career clean sheet to create a new career record.

She managed four saves throughout the match, managing a full 90 minutes in the result giving her her 11th win of the season. She currently sits second in the conference for goals allowed with a 0.76 mark, as OLLU sit top of the table.

De La Garza leads the backline of the Saints’ men’s team and another strong performance at the back gave De La Garza the award on the men’s side. The men also managed a shutout against Huston-Tillotson, winning that match 7-0.

In marshalling the OLLU defense De La Garza helped keep Huston-Tillotson down to just one shot on goal through the 90 minutes. De La Garza also proved useful going forward, often providing the link between defense and attack to kick off plays.

It was the second straight week that an OLLU player had won the men’s defensive player of the week award after Jorge Cavazos won a week ago. For the women it’s the first win since August 29th when Maggie Miller won the award in the opening week.

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Two Rattlers win Player of the Week Honors

Photo: St. Mary’s University Athletics

St. Mary’s have had two players named as Heartland Conference players of the week as the league office made the announcements on Monday. Heather Dawson won the women’s offensive player of the week, while John-Michael Villarreal won the men’s offensive player of the week.

Dawson managed two goals and an assist through two matches over the weekend to win her the honor for the women’s side. She opened the weekend with two goals against Oklahoma Christian which pushed the Rattlers on to the win.

She followed that goal up by managing an assist to help get a vital goal against Lubbock Christian later in the week. Dawson’s ball found Rachel Gurinsky who was able to bury the chance to give the Rattlers a draw against Lubbock Christian.

For Villarreal the award was his first ever weekly award for the forward as he celebrates his senior season. It came after a strong week as he managed a pair of goals and a pair of assists to give the conference no other choice.

In the first match of the week, against UTPB Villarreal managed one goal, which came in the 24th minute and became the eventual match winner. Taking on Lubbock Christian he had an even stronger performance as they managed a goal and two assists to complete his strong week.

The announcement on Monday marked the first time that two Rattlers players had won player of the week awards in the same week. Villarreal also marks the first week that a men’s player had won the offensive player of the week award this season.

UTSA Hold on for win Over UAB

UTSA managed a vital conference victory on Sunday afternoon as they defeated UAB 2-1 in a big conference match. The Roadrunners defeated the Blazers with a strong performance from BBVA Compass Field.

The match went back and forward between the two teams, first with UTSA controlling things, with Kaja Skare looking dangerous. Following that UAB had chances of their own, but like UTSA they could not convert.

After that tight start to the match, the Roadrunners was able to open the scoring in the 20th minute through Brianna Livecchi. A corner from Jordyn Lacy was poorly cleared by the Blazers, leading to a loose ball in the box, which allowed Livecchi to pounce.

For the rest of the half UAB was controlling possession and having the bulk of the goal scoring opportunities. But despite that, UTSA held out and was able to go to the break ahead by one, but with UAB pushing.

The Roadrunners started the second half well, attacking at the Blazers defense and having the early chances. In the 65th minute they broke through for their second as Melissa Finley’s ball in to the box bounced around, falling for Camrynne Hoover who easily buried the chance.

That forced UAB to go on the offense, and they started getting more shots away, but Isabella Sanchez was proving solid in the UTSA goal. As the Blazers continued attacking they started to go to their bench, bringing back their front line strikers after they took a break for a rest.

Seven minutes from time the Blazers pulled a goal back in to the match as Amy Brewer sent a through ball for Megan Hudgens. That allowed Hudgens to shoot across the face and in to the back of the net to set up an entertaining finish. Despite that the Blazers couldn’t find a second goal, which saw things end with UTSA claiming a vital 2-1 win.

UIW Cruise Past San Jose State

Photo: UIW Athletics

After conceding early, the UIW men got angry and exploded for their biggest offensive performance of the season so far. UIW managed a big 4-1 victory over San Jose State to get their second conference win of the season.

The Spartans wasted no time in getting started as a UIW mistake gave away possession in range in the ninth minute. That allowed Jonathan Colunga to pounce, running up field he easily shot across the keeper and in to the back of the net.

But just two minutes later UIW was back level after they quickly got back on track and earned a corner. That allowed Trinidad Luna to send in the ball for Miguel Ojeda who easily headed it home after some poor defending allowed him the space.

That was not enough for the Cardinals and they kept pushing trying to get more goals and their second game in the 16th minute. A driven cross was sent in by Ben Conway, finding Wouter Peters who headed home from just outside the six yard box to give UIW the lead.

The Cardinals let off the gas from there, keeping the match tight but not really threatening through much of the final half hour in the half. Despite that they were looking much stronger, restricting the Spartans who struggled to get any chances in the final stages, keeping it 2-1 to UIW at the half.

The Spartans started the second half well, having the first shot of the second half and doing well in the opening stages. Despite that the UIW defense managed well, keeping San Jose State at bay and controlling the match.

After holding out for much of the first half, UIW picked up the pace late on, with the Spartan’s pushing forward to desperately find an equalizer. That left up the space for the Cardinals to take advantage of and with seven minutes to play they doubled their lead as O’Neal Moore sent in a diagonal ball for Ben Conway to make it 3-1.

It took less than one minute for the Cardinals to make it four after Ben Conway’s shot was blocked and fell lose. That saw the ball fall for Peters who was able to run on to it and shoot from the top of the box to make it the 4-1 win.

Battle of Cardinals ends in Frustrating Draw

Sam Batley sends a pass back (Photo: UIW Athletics)

In the battle of the Cardinals, the two teams could not be separated as they settled for a 1-1 draw in a crucial women’s Southland Conference match at Benson Stadium on Sunday night. UIW continued Lamar’s winless run as they were pegged back by Lamar, and couldn’t score in extra time keeping the match at 1-1.

It was an even start to the match as the two Cardinals teams struggled to really get control of the match through the opening 25 minutes. UIW took charge though after that, controlling the match after the 25th minute to take plenty of chances in the final 20 minutes of the half.

In the 33rd minute UIW finally broke through to open the scoring after Alyssa Amaya found space and hit a shot powerfully. That effort beat the keeper, but could only find the crossbar, bouncing back in to play, falling to Sam Batley who rounded the keeper and tapped it home.

Lamar had two late chances, both coming from Angelica Hernandez corner kicks, the first coming in the 36th minute. That chance was to Ana Moreno whose effort was blocked before with two minutes remaining in the half Page Jogensen sent her header wide to keep UIW 1-0 up at half-time.

UIW started the second half well, with Amaya being the main target through the opening minutes of the second half. Amaya had two chances in the first ten minutes of the half, first she saw her shot saved before her second effort was blocked.

In the final 20 minutes of the half, Lamar started to get back in to the match, taking back control and with two minutes to play they finally got back on level terms. A foul in the box allowed Jordan Mulnix to step up and hit the penalty past the keeper to send it to extra time.

That sent the match in to extra time, with UIW managing to dominate the second ten minute period of extra time. But neither side could find a goal, which saw the match be awarded as a tie, keeping both sides well down in Southland Conference.

Dynamo Edge Closer to Avoiding Wooden Spoon With Seattle Draw

Dynamo clear a ball (Photo: Houston Dynamo)

Houston Dynamo’s effort to avoid being the worst team in Major League Soccer (MLS) this season got a slight boost on Wednesday night. The Dynamo managed a scoreless draw against Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday night.

After losing to Colorado Rapids on the weekend, Dynamo’s interim head coach Wade Barrett changed over half his side. Six changes were come in, the most they had made between two matches in the 2016 season.

It was a battle of two strong goalkeeping performances from both teams, with Joe Willis impressing in the Dynamo goal. Willis made seven saves throughout the match, setting a new career mark in the process, while Stefan Frei impressed in the Seattle goal.

On the half hour mark Houston could well have opened the scoring as Dynamo forward Will Bruin was able to find space after beating Seattle defender Roman Torres. That allowed Bruin to shoot from just outside the box, which was heading for the corner, but Frei made the save at full stretch on to the post to keep it scoreless.

In the 39th minute Houston continued to attack and again could have opened the scoring through midfielder Andrew Wenger. Looking to try and catch Frei out, Wenger sent in a shot from the edge of the box but Frei made the save.

Right before the break Willis was able to make two great saves to keep the scores level at half-time. Both came from Seattle midfielder Erik Friberg, the first coming on an eight yard save before he recovered well and smothered Friberg’s attempted rebound.

Four minutes in to the second half Houston Dynamo could well have opened the scoring thanks to two players on their starting debut. Midfielder Jose Escalante sent in a corner for defender Keyner Brown leaping highest but he could only find the crossbar.

Houston was handed a big advantage in the 64th minute as Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso was shown a red card. Alonso tussled with Bruin, and the two shoved each other, with Alonso putting his hands in the face of Bruin, earning him a red as opposed to Bruin’s yellow.

Despite now having a player advantage Houston Dynamo was unable to capitalize against a Seattle side that struggled. That forced Houston to settle for just a point, meaning they are still in contention for last place, but the point could prove to be valuable in condemning Chicago to the wooden spoon.

OLLU Goalkeeper Jorge Cavazos Claims Conference Defensive Player of the Week

Photo: Red River Athletic Conference

For the second week this season Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) men’s goalkeeper, Jorge Cavazos won the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) defensive player of the week. Cavazos is quickly making a case for the RRAC defensive player of the year, having won two of the seven weekly awards so far, and he is currently the only player to win a weekly award in RRAC twice.

Cavazos had a strong week, keeping two clean sheets throughout the weekend as the Saints remain top of the league. The Saints managed a 3-0 win over Jarvis Christian College midweek before holding Texas College to a scoreless draw.

The clean sheet against Texas College is especially impressive as the offensive player of the week, Confidence Ogo, managed to win the offensive player of the week. That was on the back of scoring a hat-trick in their match on Thursday, having him on fire ahead of the match against OLLU.

Cavazos only needed one half in the Thursday match against Jarvis Christian, only needing to make one save throughout the 45 minutes he played. Against the Steers Cavazos played the full 110 minutes, making six saves throughout the match.

The case for Cavazos to win the defensive player of the year is a strong one as he continues to impress this year. Cavazos leads the conference with a 0.63 goals against average and he also has four shut outs, as OLLU has not lost a conference match so far this season.

Hugo Plascencia was a nominee for the offensive player of the week for OLLU, scoring a goal in the midweek match. But up against a strong Ogo performance, it was hard for anyone other than Ogo to win the match.

Trinity Women use big First Half to get Past Schreiner

Photo: Trinity University Athletics

Trinity women kept up their perfect record, continuing their case to push higher up the NCAA rankings as they managed a 3-0 win over Schreiner. The win came on the back of a strong first half, and an even stronger defensive performance, with Schreiner not managing a single shot all match.

Two strong defenses did battle through the first 20 minutes of the match, but Trinity always seemed to have a measure of control of the match. The Mountaineers struggled to really get out, and when they did a lack of support killed their chances, which made defensive life easy for the Tigers.

Trinity had plenty of chances in the early stages as they were whipping the ball in to the box but they could not finish it. The Trinity attack was coming in with strong diagonal runs which was allowing them to get shots away, but they often went across the face.

But in the 20th minute one of those crosses that went across the face paid off, as Julia Camp sent a ball in. That ball came across for Chelsea Cole who made the diagonal run which fell for her to volley the ball past the keeper, in to the back of the net.

Moments late it was two for Trinity, when it really shouldn’t have been after a clear cut penalty was awarded to the Tigers. That allowed Camp to step up, she hit her penalty poorly, allowing for an easy save, but she kept her head up, ran on to the rebound and bundled it home.

There was another quick substitute goal, with a substitute breaking the record for the quickest goal from a substitute for the third time this year. Meredith Licata came on as a substitute and 15 seconds later scored a stunning goal. Licata received the ball from a throw launching it powerfully over the keeper from the edge of the area to make it 3-0 heading in to half time.

The second half saw an improved effort from Schreiner, who was looking much stronger defensively, showing why they only had one loss in the conference going in. But still Trinity dominated the match, as much as they struggled to create big chances in the second half.

With a three goal lead Trinity was able to go to their bench and give more players game time, which saw encouraging signs for the Trinity bench. That domination continued with their bench on the field, and despite the lack of goals in the second half that will encourage Trinity going forward.

Trinity men Manage big Second Half to Stay Perfect

Photo: Trinity University Athletics

A strong second half allowed Trinity’s men’s team to show why they are the number one team in the country on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers managed a big 4-0 win over UT-Dallas to continue their perfect season, scoring all four goals in the second half.

It was a dominant performance from Trinity, even in the first half, but throughout the whole first half Dallas held out well. Daniel Ruano was looking dangerous for Trinity in the first half, perhaps reflecting how heavily marked the men in the box were, as Ruano was shooting from outside the box.

The Comets defense was doing very well, keeping the match tight, restricting Trinity well in one of the best defensive performances against the Tigers this season. The match was stuck in the midfield, forcing Trinity to either shoot from distance or try to pass it around but they could not find many shots.

Just over one minute in to the second half Trinity was able to open the scoring, finally breaking down a strong Comets defense. Brady Johnson was able to send the ball in for Austin Michaelis who sent the ball past the keeper.

That saw things really start to open up, which allowed Trinity to double their lead in the 56th minute with Johnston involved again. This time it was Ruano who he found with a good ball, allowing Ruano to bury the chance.

Dallas started to tighten up after conceding twice but it was still the Tigers who were controlling possession. In the 74th minute they made it three as Michaelis turned provider as he set up Kellen Reid for the goal.

Five minutes from time Trinity was able to wrap up the big win as Vetle Masvaer Halle scored his first collegiate goal. The defender got forward and was able to get on the end of Donovan Smith’s cross, easily scoring the final goal for the 4-0 win.

UTSA Manage big win Over UNT

UTSA managed a big win in their Conference USA match and hopes for the season as they beat University of North Texas 3-0. The Roadrunners dominated, getting their first win against UNT since 2008 on Sunday afternoon at Park West Athletics Complex.

The result is UTSA’s first clean sheet of 2016 through a strong goalkeeping display from the Roadrunners two goalkeepers. Hannah Weisse and Isabella Sanchez combined for five saves in a match the Roadrunners dominated.

For UTSA it is an especially significant result, as Mean Green had received votes in the top 25 poll, putting UTSA as close as they’ve ever been to beating a ranked opponent. Unsurprisingly UNT started the match well, looking to attack the Roadrunners earning three corners in 14 minutes.

Despite that early domination from UNT it was UTSA who took the lead in the 14th minute after some solid service from Weisse. The long clearance from the keeper fell for Brianna Livecchi who controlled and then beat the keeper for a shock opener.

That encouraged UTSA, who continued to control the match for the remainder of the first half, getting eight shots away. But the UNT defense did well, holding out the Roadrunners to keep it down to just 1-0 at the break.

The second half started as a tight affair, with UNT determined to get back to level terms but the UTSA defense holding out well. It did not take long for UTSA to really take back charge of the match, restoring their control of possession.

With a little over 20 minutes to play, UTSA had their second goal, the winner off of a Channing Machen corner kick. Machen sent her corner to the near post, finding Olivia Nicholls who was able to head it home.

Eight minutes from time, the Roadrunners wrapped up their three goal win after UNT gave up a penalty thanks to a handball in the box. That allowed Kaja Skare to step up and bury the penalty to seal the big UTSA win.