A Big Sweep AC Soccer Teams Beat Navarro, Coastal Bend

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Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

            In its five short years in existence, Angelina College’s soccer program has experienced some big wins. However, Wednesday night’s action ended with two of the biggest victories in the program’s history.

            The Lady Roadrunners topped Navarro College 1-0 in overtime, marking the women’s first-ever victory over a perennial conference powerhouse. The No. 12 Roadrunners followed up with a convincing 4-1 victory over Coastal Bend Community College – a team listed in the national rankings earlier this year.

            Both AC teams will travel to Brenham on Saturday to face Blinn College.

            Lady Roadrunners 1, Navarro College 0 (Overtime)

            Alexa Ramirez was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

            In a hard-fought, scoreless match just 50 seconds into the overtime period, Ramirez found herself near the far upright after an AC corner kick. As a scrum for possession ensued inside the box, the ball took a high bounce toward Ramirez, who neatly headed the ball into the net for the golden goal and a 1-0 Angelina College win.

            A celebration followed – including a player dog pile – and why wouldn’t it? The win marked the Lady Roadrunners’ first-ever over a Navarro team annually placed atop the conference standings.

            The big win also placed the Lady ‘Runners in sole possession of second place in Region XIV’s with an overall record of 8-3. With just three regular-season matches remaining, the hold on second place would allow the Lady Roadrunners to host the first round of the upcoming conference tournament.

            While Ramirez’ goal added the final note, her heroics wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for a spectacular defensive effort. Navarro entered Wednesday’s match averaging more than five goals per game, but AC’s defenders limited the shots-on-goal. Those shots the Lady Bulldogs did take found keeper Emily Quintanilla, whose diving save with just 31 seconds remaining in regulation ensured Ramirez would get her chance.

            The Lady Roadrunners will play Blinn College in Brenham on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.

            No. 12 Roadrunners 4, Coastal Bend College 1

            The Roadrunners’ Aldair Chaves and Juan Lopez were waging a competition between them on Wednesday: Which would finish with a three-goal hat trick?

            Neither would net a third goal, but each finished with two goals in AC’s 4-1 over Coastal Bend College, giving the Roadrunners their fifth straight win and 11th on the season. The ‘Runners are in sole possession of second place in Region XIV, just a game behind Tyler Junior College.

            Lopez opened Wednesday’s scoring spree with a goal in the 13th minute, capitalizing on beautiful ball movement and a cross from teammate Francies Galdino. An answering goal from the Cougars four minutes later evened the match at 1-1, but Chaves opened the second half with a spectacular backward header for the 2-1 lead. Lopez notched his second score in the 65th minute, only to see Chaves follow up not a minute later with his second goal.

            The Roadrunners will travel to Brenham on Saturday to face Blinn College. Game time is set for 4 p.m.

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