Men’s soccer defeats Texarkana to open Conference

The men’s soccer team opened Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) play with a win on the road over Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) 2-1. The Saints improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in conference while the Eagles drop to 0-5-1 and 0-1 in the RRAC.

Head Coach Shane Hurley commented, “I’m proud of the players effort. Aside from a couple of free kicks, we defended well and limited their chances. Joseph Baker (SO/Llantwit Major, Wales, U.K.) came up with a big save on a penalty kick, and the team rallied around it when Norberto Lira (JR/Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico) produced a game-winning goal. It was a good win.”


The Saints are undefeated against the Eagles all-time at 5-0.


The first half was evenly played as the Saints and Eagles produced four shots each. The Saints took three corner kicks and Baker made one save. The match was scoreless heading into the second half.

Luan Balestieri (SR/Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) broke the tie at the 56th minute with a goal. The Eagles responded 10 minutes later with a strike from Austin Beck to return to a tie. Lira was the hero for the Saints with a late goal in the 83rd minute. Baker finished with four saves and the Saints tallied seven shots on goal. Both teams combined for nine yellow cards.

Scoring overview

56′ – OLLU – Luan Balestieri

66′ – TAMUT – Austin Beck

83′ – OLLU – Norberto Lira

Inside the box score

Leading the way for the Saints’ offense was Balestieri with three shots. Beck led the Eagles with two shots.

Overall, the Saints tallied 12 shots, with seven on goal. Texarkana recorded nine shots, five being on goal.

OLLU’s Miguel Sanchez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was shown a yellow card at the 3rd minute.

TAMUT’s Coastas Heckman was shown a yellow card at the 28th minute.

TAMUT’s Andrew Knoebel was shown a yellow card at the 55th minute.

OLLU’s Bernard Cutini Alvarenga (SR/Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil) and TAMUT’s Luis Garza were shown a yellow card at the 66th minute.

OLLU’s Javier Pena (SO/San Antonio, Texas) was shown a yellow card in the 78th minute.

TAMUT’s Gabriel Sweeny was shown a yellow card in the 82nd minute.

OLLU’s Oluwatimileyin Talabi (SO/Abeokuta, Nigeria) was shown a yellow card in the 84th minute.

TAMUT’s Jonathan Fitter was shown a yellow card in the 87th minute.

What’s next

The Saints will play their first home game on Thursday against Jarvis Christian College at 1:30 p.m. The team will honor seniors Miguel Sanchez, Bernard Alvarenga, Luan Balestieri, Gustavo Borba, Jose Delgado and Carlos Cabrera after the game.