Men’s Soccer Eliminated From NCAA Championship

Western men’s soccer team // Photo courtesy of Western Athletics

By Wilson Turk

The Western men’s soccer season came to an end with a 5-0 loss against St. Mary’s University on Saturday, Nov. 23, in San Antonio, Texas. 

The loss knocks the Vikings out of the NCAA Division II Championship tournament in the second round after receiving a BYE in the first round.

“Overall, we actually played pretty well. We had some chances in the first half that we didn’t finish and that came back to get us in the second half especially,” senior defender Jeremiah Lee, from Marysville, Washington said. “We played for each other and with lots of energy and they just finished their chances and we didn’t.”

In the 33rd minute, St. Mary’s sophomore midfielder Deni Cresto, from Curitiba, Parana, Brazil, scored from just over 25 meters. The ball was shot into the upper right corner of the goal past the outstretched arms of Western’s freshman goalkeeper Brandon Locke, from Federal Way, Washington. 

St. Mary’s forward Nenad Markovic, from Belgrade, Serbia, scored a hat-trick with goals in the 36th minute, the 53rd, the 83rd. The Vikings were not able to respond despite multiple close attempts that were saved by the St. Mary’s junior goalkeeper Gerard Roebuck, from Lithgow, Australia.

“It was a tough game, credit to St. Mary’s they shot and they scored their goals tonight,” Western head coach Greg Brisbon said during the postgame press conference. “I thought we had chances early, but their keeper was fantastic and for me that was the difference tonight.”

The Vikings finished the game with 10 shots, six of them on goal, while St. Mary’s had 12 shots total with six on goal.

“St. Mary’s was just clinical tonight, and they capitalized on mistakes better,” senior forward Ryan Schaefer, from Burien, Washington, said during the postgame press conference. “That is just the way it goes. When you are on your day you can get punished and they were.”

“I’m really proud of each and every person on the team and how much work they’ve put into this year,” said Lee. “A special thanks to the seniors for all of their hard work they’ve put in for the team and the program. I’m proud of our team and the fantastic year we had. Tonight just wasn’t our night”

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