The UTRGV men’s soccer team steamrolled the Texas A&M-San Antonio (AMSA) Jaguars to the tune of a 5-0 victory in the home opener Monday at the UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex in Edinburg.
UTRGV (2-2-0) got two goals from freshman forward Keaviano Francis and one each from sophomore forward Kgodiso Sukati, senior defender Tristan Singh and freshman forward Tiago Gomes. Graduate student goalkeeper Garret Wild made six saves.
The Vaqueros needed just 30 seconds of game time to take the 1-0 lead. Francis took a clearance from AMSA’s offensive third all the way up the pitch into UTRGV’s attacking zone. He attempted a pass that got tied up in traffic, but instead of letting the swarm of Jaguars take over, he regained possession inside the box and sent an unassisted rocket into the goal.
Two minutes later, the Vaqueros displayed great passing along the sideline to extend the lead to 2-0. Crisp ball movement from senior forward Jason Robles and sophomore midfielder Cade Erickson set up a goal by Sukati.
UTRGV didn’t take the foot of the gas with the early advantage. Robles, Francis and Sukati kept the Vaqueros consistently on attack mode and created good looks. Sophomore defender Juan Pablo Gonzalez also made an impact.
With the Vaqueros offense working efficiently, the Jaguars defense started getting physical and rushing to pressure the ball. In the 31st minute, that aggression led to a foul and a free kick for UTRGV. Graduate student midfielder Reda Ikarrain sent the free kick into the box and Singh spun it into the net.
In the 43rd minute, the Vaqueros heavily contested a Jaguars goal kick and the effort resulted in Francis sinking his second goal of the night for the 4-0 lead. UTRGV outshot AMSA 8-3 in the opening frame, putting six shots on goal, and earned two corners to zero for the Jaguars. Wild made two solid saves in the first 45 minutes, including one in the final minute as the Jaguars sent a long, hard shot to the net and Wild knocked it straight down to keep them scoreless.
The Jaguars outshot the Vaqueros 9-6 in the second half, but good defense and four saves from Wild kept the shutout intact.
UTRGV will be back in action at 7 p.m. Friday on the road against Marquette.