Week 5 was the start of conference games for Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s soccer teams. Conference games determine rank among other schools in the Red River Athletics Conference and playoff standings. The RRAC is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Both the women and men’s teams played Texas A&M University A&M-Texarkana and Louisiana State University in Shreveport. The women’s club would leave week 5 with an even split of one win and one loss, while the men exited with no wins.
Sept. 22: Eagles dominate Jaguars in first conference meeting.
A&M-San Antonio women’s team suffered their first loss to the Texas A&M-Texarkana Eagles 0-5.
From the opening kick, the Eagles controlled the pace of the game, playing almost the entire match on the Jaguars’ side of the field.
Anything the Jags tried to push upfield would be cut off and made into an opportunity to score, which the Eagles created plenty of. The Eagles’ consistency on both sides of the ball paid off in a big way as they scored 3 goals in the first half and 2 goals in the second.
The first goal was scored by Johanna Rodriguez, A&M-Texarkana’s sophomore midfielder, in the 11th minute of the game.
Although Jaguars sophomore goalkeeper Maram Adeljaber had a season-high of five saves, she could not stop all of the Eagles’ attacks. A&M-Texarkana had 10 shots on goal to the Jaguars’ four. In terms of general shots, the Jags only had eight to the Eagles’ 21.
The Jags would lick their wounds as they continued their road trip Sept. 24 against Louisiana State University-Shreveport in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Sept. 22: Jags drop first conference game of the season.
A&M-San Antonio men’s team lost a grueling match against A&M-Texarkana’s Eagles, 0-2.
The first goal of the game was scored by Jon Olivarez, the Eagles freshman forward, in the 13th minute of the match in a fast break after a Jaguars corner kick.
The Eagles would not let up on offense, but the Jags would respond defensively, deterring numerous attacks for the rest of the half.
The Jags would have their opportunities on offense but couldn’t get the ball past the Eagles’ backline.
The half would end 0-1, Eagles in the lead.
A&M-Texarkana turned up the intensity in the second half, continuing their lockdown defense while ramping up their offensive attacks.
The Jaguars had their hands full trying to defend, so much so that they made a costly mistake. Jaguars freshman defender Giovanni Garcia scored an own goal while trying to impede a shot. Jaguars senior goalkeeper Victor Villarreal was helpless to stop the ball as it flew just out of reach.
The score is now 2-0, Eagles up.
With momentum on their side, the Eagles continued their offensive onslaught, trying to build on their lead. However, Villarreal matched this with his own personal defensive clinic. After the second goal, the Eagles took four more shots on goal, all saved by Villarreal, who had five in the half.
Just like the first half, the opportunities would come, but the Jags couldn’t execute. A&M-Texarkana’s strict defense would douse any attempt that got close to the penalty box.
The final score was 2-0.
The Jags continued their road trip Sept. 24 against Louisiana State University-Shreveport in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Sept. 24: Jags snag first Conference win
A&M-San Antonio’s women’s team defeated Louisiana State University at Shreveport’s Pilots 2-0 in their first conference win.
The Pilots wasted no time, taking the first shot at goal within the first 10 minutes. Spurring the Jags to follow suit by pressing their attack, pushing the Pilots to defend their flurry of shots.
In the 24th minute of the match, Jags freshman midfielder Ana Barragan scored the first goal of the game. This is the fourth goal of the season for Barragan, leading the team in goals scored.
Another Jaguar on the rise is sophomore goalkeeper Maram Abdeljaber. In the first half, Abdeljaber saved anything that got past the defenders. By the end of the half, the Pilots had four shots on goal but three of them were saved by Abdeljaber.
LSU-Shreveport would end the half scoreless, 1-0, Jaguars in the lead.
Just like the beginning of the first half, the Pilots went on the attack first, taking two shots at goal to start the half. Abdeljaber also mirrored the first half and saved both of them. Abdeljaber would shatter her season-high from the previous game (five) with a whopping nine saves in this game.
The Pilots were doing all they could to even the score, but the Jags’ defense held strong. Although Abdeljaber was on point with her saves, the Jags seldom allowed the other team a chance to test her.
In the 83rd minute of the match, the Jags would put the final nail in the coffin with freshman forward Daniela Garcia scoring, putting the score at 2-0. This was Garcia’s first goal of the season.
The conference games continued when the Jaguars hosted Louisiana Christian University for their first home game back after a three-game road trip.
Sept. 24: Pilots fly by Jags, causing Jag’s third straight loss
Louisiana State University at Shreveport’s Pilots rallied in the second half against A&M-San Antonio’s men’s team and defeated them 2-1.
The Jaguars seemingly had control of the game. From the opening kick, the Jags were the aggressor, pushing the pace on offense that led to the first goal of the game by freshman striker Efren Duarte in the 16th minute of the match.
The Pilots were kept on their heels for the remainder of the half, being held to four shots for the entire period. The score was 1-0 going into halftime.
LSU-Shreveport found their rhythm as they started the second half as the main attackers. The Jags found themselves trying to keep the Pilots at bay. It was all for naught as LSU-Shreveport tied it up in the 63rd minute with a goal by junior forward Maurice Theart.
With the game tied, both teams began to battle for the advantage, but the Pilots had momentum on their side.
Soon, the Jags would find themselves in a similar position that the Pilots were in during the first period. A&M-San Antonio was held to only three shots in the second half while LSU-Shreveport racked up 12.
After numerous opportunities, the Pilots found the back of the net with Sophomore defender Jake Strachan’s goal in the 88th minute, putting the score at 2-1.
The Jags were not able to answer back, losing their 3rd game in a row.