Image: John Posey
San Antonio Athenians SC beat Texas Titans SC 1-0 at Blossom Soccer Stadium on Friday night courtesy of a long-range blast from defender Ana Campa.
Friday’s win was the Athenians’ second in a row as well as their first match at home since May 20, an 8-0 rout of Houston South Select. It was also the first time the Athenians saw a familiar opponent, having played Titans SC away six days earlier.
The match started with the Titans on the front foot and looking to put pressure on the Athenians early, regardless of who had the ball. The home side coped with the pressure and got forward increasingly as the half wore on though.
Titans SC may have taken a blow to their morale in the 19th minute following an Athenians foul and the ensuing activity. After demanding a red card, using offensive language and entering the field of play, the referee dismissed Titans Coach Jim Eamma for the rest of the match.
Despite the Athenians getting forward more as the first half wore on, the Titans defense was organized and able to handle the pressure just as the Athenians had in the early stages of the match. It would take quite a defensive error or spectacular piece of skill for the Athenians to breach the defense they were up against.
Defender Ana Campa managed to come up with such a stunning piece of skill in the 31st minute though. After a corner was initially cleared by Titans SC, the ball fell to Campa and her volley from outside the box sailed into the top corner of the net to hand the Athenians a 1-0 lead.
The home side picked up where they left off with dangerous attacking in the opening stages of the second half. A 46th minute free kick was deflected and fell to an Athenians player who slid the ball across the box past the onrushing Titans goalkeeper. However, Athenians forward Marlyn Campa’s shot was sent wide of the open net.
Six minutes later, an Athenians attack found midfielder Becca Mays in the box, but her shot went high this time. The insurance goal wouldn’t come for the Athenians despite their best efforts out of the gate after halftime.
Ana Campa’s screamer ended up being enough for the win though as the sides pushed back and forth for the remainder of the match. The Titans didn’t pose a serious threat of equalizing except for some sustained pressure in the last few minutes.
Friday marked the first time the Athenians managed to win consecutive matches in their history. They’ll now embark on a four-match run of away games before returning to Blossom for the final three of the season. The club sits in second place in the Southwest-South division of the Women’s Premier Soccer League behind Lonestar SC, who have won all four of their matches so far.
SAASC Starting XI (4-4-2): Gabriela Lopez; Ana Campa, Shelbi Miller, Treena Ferguson, Michelle Hogan; Jessica Bell, Nicole Galan, Becca Mays, Lyndsey Bywater; Allison Fahey, Marlyn Campa
SAASC Discipline: Michelle Hogan (yellow card, 59th minute), Jessica Bell (yellow card, 80th minute)