Image: John Posey, Urban Sports News
San Antonio Athenians SC lost to the Tigres UANL women’s team 3-2 Saturday night at Blossom Soccer Stadium in front of 2,413 fans in their final match of 2017.
Saturday’s match was the second friendly the Athenians hosted this season. They previously played the Club Pachuca women’s team on May 13, falling 1-0 to the visitors.
Athenians SC weathered early pressure from the visitors and took the odd chances they got well, opening the scoring in the 19th minute. Defender Ana Campa threw the ball in from the right and it found forward Allison Fahey, who controlled the ball with her back to goal, turned and fired a tame but precise shot past the Tigres goalkeeper. Fahey was the Athenians’ leading goalscorer in WPSL play this season with 10 goals, so her notching one on Saturday came as no surprise.
Tigres finally found a reward for their efforts and equalized just six minutes later though off a quick attack which caught the home side off guard. On the break, the ball ended up at the feet of onrushing midfielder Jacqueline Ovalle, who found space and managed to place the ball past Athenians goalkeeper Gaby Lopez and into the net.
The goal glut continued as the Athenians retook the lead in the 28th minute via a mix-up in the Tigres defense. Forward Marlyn Campa caught a Tigres defender off guard and stole the ball, advanced on goal and slid the ball into the corner of the net to give the Athenians a 2-1 lead which they would take into halftime.
Tigres asserted themselves even more in the second half and were level again within just two minutes of the restart. A brilliant cross from the left went over the Athenians defense and found Nayeli Rangel, who hit the ball first-time past Lopez to tie the match at 2-2.
With a penalty kick shootout looming if the match were to end tied after 90 minutes, Tigres managed to grab the lead for the first time in the 80th minute and hold on until full time. A simple cross from the right found Rangel unmarked just a few yards from goal. Rangel easily redirected the ball with her head to beat Lopez for the deciding goal.
The phrase “soccer for a cause” was revived, if only for one night, as proceeds from Saturday’s match were donated to the family of San Antonio Police Officer Miguel Moreno, who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty in June. In addition to Moreno’s family being in attendance, an SAPD honor guard and the department’s Blue Line choir were also in attendance and took part in the presentation of colors and national anthem.
SAASC Starting XI (4-1-3-2): Gaby Lopez; Ana Campa, Lisa Tomenendal, Maggie Miller, Michelle Hogan; Treena Ferguson; Becca Mays, Nicole Galan, Isabella Valdez; Marlyn Campa, Allison Fahey
SAASC Discipline: N’A