ALEXANDRIA—A hot start from the LSUA men’s soccer team fueled them to a 3-1 victory over Texas A&M-Texarkana on Thursday afternoon at the Generals Soccer Complex.
Samuel Ogunjobi and Juan Dorta scored goals in the first 15 minutes of action, the first two goals of the Generals season. They were the first two shots taken in the contest by the Generals. The flurry forced TAMUT to change goalkeepers midway through the first half, going from Patrick Heaney to Jacob Mendez.
“We needed one goal to go in to get our confidence up,” Ogunjobi said. “Once we got our first goal, we were all excited and we all wanted to score. At the end of the day, it is about our confidence. We just needed that one goal to set the pace and we go from there.”
After TAMUT cut the deficit back to one in the second half, Danny Stevens added his first career goal to seal the game. Elia Brudaglio dribbled up the right flank and passed it in the middle of the box to an open Stevens, who booted one under a diving Mendez.
The Stevens goal came seven minutes after the Eagles trimmed the LSUA advantage to one. The second half began with a flurry of action by TAMUT, but the Stevens goal deflated the visitors and they never had as good of a shot to score after that.
LSUA won the shots category convincingly 12-6, including 5-3 on goal.
Ogunjobi, a senior from Hoo St. Werburgh, United Kingdom, registered the first goal of the season in the sixth minute, finding the ball in front of the goal and was able to boot it home to give the Generals their first lead of the season.
“We changed our tactics,” Ogunjobi said. “We said we have to set the pace and the keeper was a bit shaky. I just had to anticipate that he would fumble it and I got my goal.”
It did not take much longer for Dorta to give LSUA a bit of breathing room, as he booted a perfectly placed shot into the top left-hand corner of the net, just over the outstretched arms of Heaney.
“I practice those types of shots quite a bit,” Dorta said. “In a game, it is just instinct. If you practice well, you’re going to do that in a game. I just saw space and thankfully it went in.”
LSUA (1-3-1 overall, 1-1 RRAC) bounced back from the setback against LSUS with its most goals since Oct. 10, 2019, when it also scored three in a win against Jarvis Christian.
It was a dominant first half by the Generals, not giving up many chances and much of the possession.
The major chance LSUA did allow in the first 45 minutes, though, was one in the eighth minute. TAMUT’s Patrick Cowley had an opportunity, as he was dribbling up the right flank, but Juan Moreno, showing his tremendous defensive ability, blocked the shot to help preserve the early edge.
Cowley was the only Eagles player with more than one shot attempt, registering two.
TAMUT (0-7-1, 0-3) started the second half like its hair was on fire. The Eagles owned the opening minutes of the final period, and finally were able to dent the scoreboard.
“Texarkana is organized and work really hard,” LSUA Men’s Soccer Coach Michael Poropat said. “We played well in the first half, but we need to be more consistent for 90 minutes.”
In the 47th minute, TAMUT’s Austin Beck booted a corner kick into the box and Taylor Chapman headed home a shot to cut the lead in half
The Eagles nearly scored less than a minute earlier when Coastas Heckman had a breakaway, but LSUA goalkeeper Alvaro Garcia met him in the box and broke the chance up. That did give them the corner kick they would score on, though.
Following the Stevens goal, the LSUA defense put the clamps down, only allowing a single shot in the final 43 minutes of action.
LSUA had a few chances to break the game open even further, but Daminick White and Kion Stewart’s attempts just missed and the Generals had the 3-1 victory.
Stewart led the Generals in shots (3) and shots on goal (2).
The Generals have a week off before taking a trip across the border to battle Jarvis Christian. It is our last scheduled road contest before finishing the season with our final three at home.