During a thunderstorm that eventually stopped the Aug. 30 match, the Texas A&M University-San Antonio women’s soccer team kicked off the season with a win against Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) 1-0.
From the tip, the Jaguars made their defensive presence known as they took control of the pace of the game, opening the way for a swift goal, scored by sophomore midfielder Rheanna Lopez. They continued their defensive onslaught for the remainder of the half, anchored by sophomore goalkeeper Maram Abdeljaber.
SAGU found their rhythm at the start of the second half as their offensive aggressiveness began to match the Jaguars’. After a tenacious back and forth, the referees called for a stop in play because of lightning in the area.
If there is lightning within 10 miles of the field, the match must be stopped. Additionally, the teams must wait 30 minutes after stopping the game to ensure the lightning goes outside the 10 mile radius.
Referees asked the teams, coaching staff and spectators to vacate the field in hopes that the storm would pass and the game could resume.
After waiting 30 minutes, the match resumed. Freshman midfielder Ana Barragan’s offensive skill set stood out. Although scoreless, her attacks kept the defense’s hands full with her speed, reflexes and polished dribbling.
The lightning returned 20 minutes later, forcing the referees to call the game. The score, still 1-0, meant the Jaguars won the first game of the season.
Head coach Fred Sanguinetti called the victory a great team win. He said he was impressed with the team’s performance given how little practice they had in the week leading up to the game.
“We hardly got onto the field with the rain and lighting, so we only had tactical practice … I’m proud of that and their effort,” Sanguinetti said. “Even the way Rheanna Lopez scored, we just moved the ball really well.”
Sanguinetti said the team wants to create a winning culture at A&M-San Antonio, and with Tuesday’s win, he believes they’re on the right path.
For the men’s team, however, the storm’s persistence caused the match to be canceled against Assemblies of God University. No date has been released on the rescheduling of the game.
For more information about the team’s schedule and roster, visit https://www.tamusasports.com/landing/index.