LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's men's soccer team ended its season Sunday with an emotional 4-2 West Coast Conference loss at Loyola Marymount.
The Gaels end the season with a solid 9-5-5 overall record and a 5-4-3 mark in league play. Saint Mary's finished in third place in the WCC final standings, behind San Diego and Santa Clara and ahead of fourth-place Portland. The Gaels were picked to finish fifth in the WCC by league coaches during the preseason after losing seven starters from last year's NCAA Elite Eight team that won the WCC title.
LMU outshot the Gaels 10-5 in the match, which featured a total of seven yellow card cautions and a red from lead official Alex Gorin. The Lions forced four corners, compared to three for SMC while both teams registered just one offsides violation.
The Gaels found themselves down early after LMU's Christian Alvarado scored on a header that went just over the outstretched arms of Saint Mary's freshman goalkeeper Lucas Champenois. The SMC defense stiffened for the rest of the half and the Lions maintained just a one-goal lead at the break.
Senior Conroy Cunningham tied the game in the 53rd minute when his shot deflected off a defender and past LMU keeper Billy Thompson. Just eight minutes later, however, the Lions regained the lead when Craig Nitty converted a 61st minute penalty after Trevor Newquist was called for a foul inside the LMU penalty area.
The next two minutes would provide a significant impact on the match. In the 62nd minute senior Trevor Newquist was called for a second yellow card and the Gaels went a man down. Just a minute later, LMU extended its lead to 3-1 when Alvarado scored his second goal of the game following a long run from midfield.
After LMU's Mitch Boland scored in the 83rd minute, SMC junior Justin Howard pulled one back with a shot into the top center of the goal off a cross from freshman Austin Allison.