Defense Helps Penalty Kick Hold as Generals Advance

Sr. D Rafael Bastos (#6) celebrating following his penalty kick goal against Huston-Tillotson. Please give photo credit to Joseph Dupree/LSUA Media Club.
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (LSUA Sports Information) - The LSUA men’s soccer team earned a penalty kick in the 39th minute, and that was all the offense needed to advance out of the first round of the 2019 Red River Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament presented by Farmers Bank & Trust as the fourth-seeded Generals knocked off the fifth-seeded Huston-Tillotson Rams 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Generals Field.

How It Happened:
The one offensive moment needed came in the 39th minute of the match. As Alan Albornoz launched a long throw-in into the box, one of the Ram defenders was tagged with getting too physical with Brian Okpala, and the penalty kick was awarded. Rafael Bastos stepped up to the spot and calmly put the ball inside the left post for the match’s only goal.

Coach’s Take:
“Each week we work on a detailed game plan for each opponent,” said LSUA head coach Michael Poropat. “Having played Huston-Tillotson just last week, we were able to implement a game plan tailored for the opponent, which our player executed today. We’ll rest up for the rest of the weekend and get back to training on Monday in order to prepare for Houston-Victoria on Thursday.”

Other Key Statistics:
Sr. D Rafael Bastos scored his second goal of the season, and third of his LSUA career in the match, and was his first career game-winning goal. He took a team-high three shots and had LSUA’s lone shot on goal in the match, which was the goal from the spot.
Sr. D Brian Okpala, whose action in the box drew the foul and LSUA penalty kick, took two shots in the match, one of which banged off the post.
So. GK Alvaro Garcia made another LSUA record fall. With six saves against the Rams, he broke the LSUA single-season saves record, now sitting at 69 on the season, breaking the old mark of 67 by Thomas Fuller back in 2016. By keeping the Rams from scoring, he also tied his own LSUA single-season record for shutouts, picking up his eighth clean sheet of 2019 to equal the mark he set last season.
The Generals took ten shots on the match with one on target. Huston-Tillotson finished the match with 13 shots, putting six on frame.

Next Match:
With the win, the Generals (11-5-3) advance to the semifinals of the 2019 Red River Athletic Conference Tournament presented by Farmers Bank and Trust. In the semifinals, the Generals will meet up with the conference’s regular-season champion, (RV) Houston-Victoria. LSUA dropped a 2-1 decision to UHV in Victoria during the regular season. Kickoff in the semifinal match against the Jaguars (15-0-2) is set for 4:00 P.M. at Texas A&M-Texarkana’s Eagle Field.

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