PORTLAND, Ore. — In a prime time matchup to close out the regular season, the Saint Mary’s men’s soccer team applied consistent pressure in the second half, but ultimately fell short, 1-0 to this year’s West Coast Conference champions Portland.
SMC needed a win at Merlo Field, coupled with a Pacific draw or loss to claim the WCC title.
The Gaels (8-8-3, 4-3 WCC) outshot the Pilots (12-5-1, 6-1 WCC) 9-8 in the second half, but could not find the back of the net. Portland had the 15-13 shot advantage for the match.
The Pilots got on the board at the 5:17 mark off Matthew Coffey’s first goal of the season. Coffey streaked down the right side to get a touch on a through ball and powered the shot into the top of the net past Gaels keeper Andrew Konstantino.
Konstantino displayed a solid effort Saturday night, as the keeper recorded five saves.
Trailing by one goal, the Gaels nearly equalized the match in the 62nd match off a thunderous 20 yard strike by Jakub Svehlik. Shot from the right side, the Portland keeper exploded to his far post to punch the ball over the top left corner. Off the following corner kick, Max Mirner got his boot on a loose ball inside the box, but shot the ball over the Pilots crossbar.
The Gaels end the season with quality wins in both non-conference and conference action. Head coach Adam Cooper and his squad finished the year perfect at home in conference play and had great performances from the upper classmen to the first year players.
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