The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Jaguars clinch playoff berth for first time in programs history

Jaguars clinch playoff berth for first time in programs history - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio men’s soccer team embraces freshman striker Efren Durate after his goal against the University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars on Oct. 22, at the A&M-San Antonio soccer field. Photo courtesy of Alejandro Silva, @Alesphotography._

Week 9:

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio soccer team continued their hot streak in week 9. Both the women’s and men’s teams beat Huston-Tillotson University and tied with the University of Houston-Victoria. 

Oct 20: Jaguars defeat Rams after slow start 

A&M-San Antonio women’s soccer team defeated the Huston-Tillotson University Rams by overcoming the Ram’s early lead.

During the first two minutes of the match, Rams senior forward Lesly Davila scored the first goal of the game. Giving the Rams the momentum early and putting the pressure on the Jaguars to catch up. 

The Jaguars broke through when freshman midfielder Ana Barragan tied the game in the 18th minute of the match assisted by freshman forward Daniela Garcia.

The Jaguars had a few more opportunities to score before the end of the period but were stopped by Rams senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Ridley. 

Ridley finished the match with seven saves. 

Coming into the second period, the Jaguars began to overwhelm the Rams’ defense. 

With the Rams doing all they could to contain the Jaguars’ offense, they couldn’t break away to create their opportunity to score. 

In the 77th minute, Barragan connected with sophomore midfielder Hannah Kim, setting up Kim for her second goal of the season. 

The Jaguars continued to keep the Rams at bay for the rest of the half, holding them to three shots in the second period

Huston-Tilloston had seven shots the entire game.

Final score, 2-1.

With this victory, the Jaguars have now won five straight matches.

Oct. 20: Men’s team shuts out Huston-Tillotson in 3-game winning streak

In their last away game of the season, A&M-San Antonio men’s team defeated Huston-Tillotson University, 2-0. 

From the opening kick, the Jaguars established themselves defensively, anchored by their team captains: junior defender Antonio Juarez-Alvarez and senior goalkeeper Victor Villarreal. 

The Rams took five shots on goal the entire game and all five were saved by Villarreal. 

The game was a physical one, both teams competed so fiercely.

A total of 30 fouls were called along with nine yellow cards being assessed throughout the game. 

Despite the Ram’s effort, the Jaguars controlled the pace from the start of the game, opening the way for Jaguars sophomore defender Alejandro Hernandez to set up freshman forward Efren Durate to score in the 14th minute giving them the early lead.

Coming into the second half, the Jaguars looked to build on their lead while continuing to limit the Rams’ opportunities on offense.

The Jaguars’ discipline on defense quickly carved out a chance for freshman forward Dante Yosef Valencia to score in the 52nd minute, his third goal of the season.

For the remainder of the match, the Jaguars maintained their strict defense to keep the Rams from putting any points on the board and secured their win, 2-0.

Oct. 22: Jags’ second-half spectacle saves them from a loss

In their second to last game of the regular season, A&M-San Antonio women’s team tied with the University of Houston-Victoria, 1-1. 

UHV wasted no time putting points on the board. 

UHV freshman forward Clara Strand scored in the first two minutes of the match giving them an early lead. 

The Jaguars couldn’t shake UHV’s defense the entire first half, giving them a slow start in the match. 

UHV controlled the middle of the field while cutting off any lead passes to the wing, making it difficult for the Jaguars to run any kind of offensive plays.

Down by one coming into the second half, the Jaguars were set on putting points on the board. 

Jaguars sophomore defender Brooke Theis helped spark the Jaguars’ comeback while leading the charge on defense. 

Theis helped the team establish themselves in the midfield in order to keep their defensive stops connected to their offense.

The Jaguar’s first goal was facilitated by Theis. 

Theis took possession of the ball in the midfield and found a seam up the left wing and pushed all the way to the corner where she connected with freshman forward Daniela Garcia in the 69th minute, tying the game.

Rejuvenated by the goal, the Jaguars became more aggressive and pushed the pace of the game. 

Even with their newfound momentum, the Jaguars couldn’t get over the hump to gain the advantage, but they held UHV to a scoreless half. 

Final 1-1.

Theis attributes their second-half comeback started with the effort of the whole team.

“It all starts from just the team and the effort we put in…we were all communicating and working hard trying to get the ball in the air,” she said. 

Head coach Fredy Sanguinetti understood how UHV would try and pressure them right out of halftime but was impressed with how resilient the team was in response.

“I got to give it to the girl’s man, we battled hard the whole time,” Sanguinetti said, “we were down early but we just battled, battled, battled.” 

The Jaguars will play their last game of the regular season against Our Lady of the Lake University at 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. 

Oct. 22: Jaguars couldn’t seal the win, ties with University of Houston-Victoria 

A&M-San Antonio men’s team tied against the number one team in their conference, the University of Houston-Victoria.

From the opening kick, UHV established that they would capitalize on any mistakes the Jaguars would make with smooth passing and communication. 

The Jaguars were on point offensively, transitioning from defense to offense with ease. 

Although the Jaguars retained possession for most of the first half, neither team took many shots in the period both only taking 4 each. 

The consistency on defense made paid off for the Jaguars with a fast break opportunity converted by sophomore defender Sebastian Palomino who tipped in freshman striker Efren Durate’s shot in the 28th minute. 

Using the momentum from the goal, the Jaguars continued to lockdown UHV for the remainder of the half. 

In the second period, the Jaguars picked up where they left off, containing UHV but still couldn’t find many opportunities to score. 

The game was a physical one, both teams wouldn’t give an inch on either side of the ball. 

UHV was competing intensely on every possession to get back into the game.

That chance would come in the form of a penalty kick late in the game. 

The Jaguars were furious with the call, pleading with the referee but to no avail.

UHV senior defender Danny Nunez scored on the penalty in the 88th minute, tying the game. 

With two minutes left to play, the Jaguars scrambled to score a quick goal but couldn’t beat the clock. 

Jaguars head coach Robert Jaramillo understands the ebbs and flow of the game, wasn’t hung up on the officiating but didn’t seem happy about it either. 

“It was an unfortunate call,” Jaramillo said. “They missed a clear push on our defender and then they got a P.K. (penalty kick) out of it, but that’s just soccer so we just move on, (and) try and win the next game.”

Jaguars senior goalkeeper Victor Villarreal chalked the late game call to experience, understanding they shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. 

“At the end of the day we have to be smart and experience has to come through,” Villarreal said, “There was less than two minutes and there was no need for us to make a risky decision that cost us the game.” 

The Jaguars will play their last game of the regular season on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. against Our Lady of the Lake University at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

Week 10:

In both teams’ last regular season game, the Texas A&M University-San Antonio men’s and women’s team faced off against the Our Lady of the Lake Saints. 

Both teams clinched playoff spots for the first time ever in the program’s history. 

The teams have only been a part of the Red River Athletic Conference for two seasons and have already become significant competitors within the conference.

Oct. 29: Women’s team ties with OLLU in last regular season game

A&M-San Antonio women’s soccer team capped off their historic second season with a tie against the Our Lady of the Lake University Saints, 0-0. 

From the beginning the Jaguars were aggressive, taking the first shots on goal while trying to take control of the pace early by being the main initiator. 

Even with earning a corner kick, the Jaguars couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. 

The Saints ran into a similar problem when they tried to convert on the offensive side of the ball.

The Jaguar’s defense made it difficult for the Saints to have a clear shot at the goal while challenging every pass to keep them off rhythm. 

In the first half, the Jaguars held the Saints to zero shots on goal. 

The first period continued to be back and forth with the Jaguars pushing the pace and taking more shots, but they couldn’t find the back of the net.

In the second period, both teams looked to break through and be the first to score, but neither team eased up defensively.

Both teams would sneak in a shot on goal but it was saved by either side’s goalkeeper. 

Jaguars sophomore goalkeeper Maram Abeldajaber saved all two of OLLU’s shots on goal and Saints junior goalkeeper Tess Pitcher ended the game with five saves. 

Although the teams competed hard, neither could score in the second period ending the match at 0-0. 

In their second season, the Jaguars improved their record by seven wins compared to the last. With momentum on their side, the Jaguars look to conquer and advance in the University’s first playoff tournament. 

Oct. 29: Men’s team close regular season with a blowout win over OLLU

In their final game of the season, A&M-San Antonio men’s soccer team shut out the Our Lady of the Lake University Saints 4-0. 

The Jaguars gained momentum early with a goal in the opening four minutes of the match by freshman striker Efren Duarte, assisted by freshman midfielder Gilberto Aguirre. 

With the early lead, the Jaguars remained aggressive and would go on to dominate offensively throughout the first half. 

They held the saints to only one shot in the entire first half. 

The Jaguars began their offensive onslaught in the 25th minute with freshman striker Dante Yosef Valencia setting up sophomore midfielder Sebastian Sanchez for a goal. 

Five minutes later, Durate scored again in the 30th minute, assisted by sophomore defender Sebastian Palomino. 

In the 38th minute, the Jaguars earned a free kick taken by freshman defender Giovanni Garcia. 

Garcia scored from about 23 yards away, giving the Jaguars their fourth goal of the game. 

Going into halftime the Jags lead, 4-0.

OLLU sought to overcome the four-point deficit in the second period by coming out aggressive and taking the first shot of the half. 

The Jaguars continued their disciplined defense to keep the Saints scoreless. 

The Saints took eight shots in the second period but only two were on goal. Both shots on goal were saved by Jaguars freshman goalkeeper Dominic Florio. 

Although their defense maintained the Saints, the Jaguars couldn’t convert opportunities on the offensive end. 

With this win over OLLU, the Jaguars secured the four seed in the RRAC, qualifying them for the playoffs for the first time in the program’s history.

About the Author

Matthew Lopez
Sports Editor
Matthew Lopez is a junior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio majoring in communications. Matthew received his associate degree along with his high school diploma in 2018. In his downtime he likes to go to the gym, watch sports and write poetry. He hopes to have a career in journalism where he can report on anything and everything — as long as he gets to continue writing, that is enough for him.

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