Lady Roadrunner Soccer Hosting No. 1 Tyler College
AC Coming off Weekend Split of Conference Road Games
Gary Stallard/AC Athletics
A long, two-week road trip for the Angelina College Lady Roadrunner soccer team wrapped up this past weekend, and now the Lady ‘Runners will finally host just their second home game of the season.
And Wednesday’s match will offer a measuring stick of just how far the team has come in these two weeks.
AC will host Tyler Junior College, which entered the first NJCAA Division I poll as the No. 1 team in the nation. Tyler, at 6-0, has yet to play a conference game, having rescheduled an August 29 match with Jacksonville College because of Hurricane Harvey’s effects. The Lady Apaches are, according to AC head coach Freddy Drago, worthy of those lofty rankings – but he feels his current squad will be ready for the competition.
“They’re (Tyler) still the standard, in Texas for sure,” Drago said. “That’s a team that went all the way to the national championship game last year, and they’re bringing back a ton of players.
“For us, the difference in this year’s team and last year’s is that we’re much deeper, and we have more skill players than we had before. We hope we can go out and do a better job than we did in the three games we played against them in 2016.”
The Lady Roadrunners (3-3, 1-1) were a disputed off sides call away from an unblemished conference record, falling 3-2 at Northeast Texas Community College on Sunday. Jerissa Grimes and Jade Dewbre each scored, but officials waved off a Kaela Stripling goal late in the match. AC outshot the Eagles 14-6 in the loss.
On Friday, the Lady ‘Runners downed Paris College 2-0 in Paris, with Kennedy Sessions and Ashley Mora notching the goals. AC’s defense held the Dragons without a shot on goal.
Defense will be a crucial factor against a high-powered Tyler team. The Lady Apaches’ relentless attack poured in 21 shots on goal in a 4-2 win over Richland College, then squeezed past No. 3 Laramie County College on Sunday.
Drago said the past couple of weeks have given his team an opportunity to jell, especially considering the number of new faces on the 2017 roster.
“We’re still getting some things worked out. That happens when a team has as many freshmen starting as we do,” Drago said. “It takes time for those girls to get used to the speed of the college game, and that’s something they’ll be learning all year long.
“But it’s been great seeing their development. On the offensive side, we’ve been able to get some girls who have been struggling to score on the score sheet and get them more involved. That’s helping us. Even though Sunday was a loss on the road, I’m very happy with where we are right now so far.”
Wednesday’s match against Tyler kicks off at 7 p.m. at Jase Magers Field on the campus of Lufkin High School.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is email@example.com.