SPOKANE, Wash. -- Despite mounting a furious second half rally after falling behind by a three goal deficit, the Saint Mary's men's soccer team dropped a 3-1 decision at Gonzaga in the final regular season match for both teams.
The Gaels ended the season with a 7-9-4 overall record and a 5-5-2 mark in West Coast Conference play. Saint Mary's finished fourth in the final league standings, one point behind the Bulldogs - which finished the year at 10-6-3 overall and 5-4-3 in league competition.
Saint Mary's has finished among the top four in the league standings in five of the last six seasons and ended this year with a school-record 11 overtime games. Seven of the Gaels' nine losses were determined by just one goal.
Playing in near-freezing temperatures at Gonzaga Soccer Field, the Bulldogs ended the match with a 14-8 edge in shots and a 7-3 advantage in attempts on goal. The two teams each attempted four corner kicks and Gonzaga finished the match with 15 fouls, compared to 14 for the Gaels.
GU goalkeeper Ryan Caballero improved to 10-6-3 on the season, while Saint Mary's sophomore Lucas Champenois fell to 3-3-1.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Lars Ludwig netted his third goal of the season with a one-time shot off a hard cross from the right side by Jakob Granlund.
After halftime, GU scored two more goals within four minutes of each other to extend their lead to 3-0. In the 48th minute, Clark Phillips scored the first of his two goals in the match on a header from a corner kick by Ludwigs. In the 52nd minute, he scored again on a shot at the far post off a crossing pass.
Saint Mary's maintained the majority of possession over the final 30 minutes, and had several opportunities to score. Freshman Ever De La Torre capitalized in the 62nd minute after dribbling the ball toward the top of the box and hitting a knuckling shot into the left corner for SMC's only score of the match.
Junior defender Bobby Conner played just 11 minutes in the match after colliding with a Gonzaga player on a set piece in the Gaels' defensive end.