Men’s soccer season over after loss in NCAA Tournament

The season is over for the St. Edward’s University men’s soccer team after their defeat by Colorado School of Mines in the Division II NCAA Tournament.

The third seeded Hilltoppers lost a heartbreaking 2-1 match against the second seeded Orediggers in Golden, Colorado, in their first game of the national tournament. The Orediggers advanced to the Sweet 16 round.

Head Coach Brian Young said his team played very well, but wasn’t able to convert.

“We created some excellent chances to score in the match, anytime you can create 3-4, 1v1 chances against the opponent’s goal keeper, you fancy your chances,” Young said.

Chayce Moniz, of Mines, would score first, in the 20th minute. However, the Hilltoppers would fight back with a goal of their own in the 38th minute, by junior left midfielder Steve Aoudou.

The teams would not score until Mine’s player John Halst put the Orediggers up 2-1 in the 72nd minute. 

St. Edward’s would put the ball in the back of the net with just minutes left, but was called offside by the assistant referee.

Colorado narrowly outshot St. Edward’s, 14-13 and saved five more shots than the Hilltoppers.

This was the second matchup of the season with Mines, as the two battled to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 13. However, this win or go home game mattered the most.

“[Colorado] Mines is a good team, but we have had the third strongest schedule, so we have played a lot of great teams this season,” Young said. “Playing on the road is difficult but the players dealt with it well.”

St. Edward’s finishes the 2015 season with a final record of 15-3-2, including perfect conference play and their fourth consecutive Heartland Conference Championship. This was the second straight season St. Edward’s made the national tournament after not making an appearance since 1999. Last season, the Hilltoppers fell by a score of 2-1 to Colorado Mesa University in the Sweet 16.

“I am very proud of the senior class who had four Heartland Conference Championships in four years, as well as two perfect conference runs of 10-0 in the last two seasons,” Young said. “They set the bar for the program and our future looks even brighter with the players who are coming back next season with a lot of great experience.”