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Jaguars hit first hurdles of season in final non-conference games

Jaguars hit first hurdles of season in final non-conference games - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Antonio Juarez-Alvarez, defensive midfielder and team captain, dribbles up field against St. Mary’s University Sept. 22, 2022 at St. Mary’s University. Photo by Matthew Lopez

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s soccer teams left week 4 without a win. The women’s team had a hard-fought match that ended in a draw against the Texas Southern University Tigers, remaining undefeated. The men’s team lost to St. Mary’s University’s Rattlers in a blow-out game.  

Sept. 17: Men’s team falls to St. Mary’s 0-5

A&M-San Antonio men’s team suffered its first loss of the season at the fangs of St. Mary’s University, with a final score of 0-5.

The match started fairly even with both teams’ offenses pushing up the pitch at an incredible pace. 

A&M-San Antonio senior goalkeeper Victor Villarreal and Antonio Juarez-Alvarez, junior defensive midfielder and team captain, put up a valiant effort on defense. They protected the penalty box with ferocity until Calum Murdoch, StMU freshman forward, scored the first goal of the game with 15 minutes left in the half. 

The period finished with the score at 0-1.

The Rattlers carried the momentum from the first half into the second in tremendous fashion. The Jags were held to only three shots at goal for the entire 45-minute period. 

Lewis Wilson, StMU senior defender, scored the second goal for the Rattlers in the 67th minute of the match. This would trigger an avalanche of offense as the team went on to chalk up two more goals in the half. 

This dominant performance stemmed from a suffocating defensive effort by the Rattlers. Every attempt the Jags would make to push the ball upfield was snuffed out. As soon as the Jags’ goalkeeper would throw the ball into play, StMU would retake possession and set up another opportunity to score. 

0-5 was the final score. 

Juarez-Alvarez said the Jags didn’t communicate well enough through their high-pressing offense but were focused on improving from this loss. 

“We got to learn from our mistakes, watch film and go after that so next week we can start (the) conference. We have to learn from (this) defeat,” the team captain said.

Assistant coach Noberto Lira acted as head coach in place of Robert Jaramillo, who could not attend the match. Lira expressed his dissatisfaction with the team’s effort, saying they were deflated after StMU scored their second goal.

“Second half (there) was just a misunderstanding where we’re not communicating any more,” Lira said. “We need to be in the game, especially if we’re down 2-0.”

The Jags continue their road trip into their first conference game at 3 p.m.  Sept. 22 against Texas A&M University-Texarkana in Texarkana. 

Sept. 18: A&M-San Antonio ties with Texas Southern

A&M-San Antonio women’s team took on the Texas Southern University Tigers in a grueling back-and-forth match that resulted in the season’s first draw for both teams. 

From the start both teams battled for dominance, seemingly taking turns on either side of the pitch. 

Where the Tigers fell short in offense, they made up for in defense. Although they had fewer shots on goal (three), they held the Jags to five shots on goal, their second-fewest attempts of the season. 

Victoria Pucci, TSU junior midfielder, scored the first goal of the game after being set up by Camille Robinson, TSU junior forward. 

It wouldn’t take long for the Jags to answer back — 30 seconds later freshman midfielder Ana Barragan took it upon herself to tie it up. This was Barragan’s third goal of the season. 

The half would end with the score tied 1-1. 

Coming into the second period, both teams picked up right where they left off. They fought for the slightest advantage, ultimately canceling each other out. 

Both teams’ goalkeepers were on point, keeping their respective teams grounded on defense while blocking multiple shots. Sophomore goalkeeper Maram Abdeljaber had two saves in the game, tying her season high. 

The match ended in a draw, and neither team could gain the upper hand. 

The Jags’ next match will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 22 against Texas A&M University-Texarkana in Texarkana. It is their first conference game of the season. 

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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