The SMU men’s soccer team’s season ended in heartbreak Thursday night as they fell to Winthrop on penalty kicks 3-1 after tying them 1-1 through two overtime periods.
“Obviously we are very disappointed with the result,” head coach Tim McClements said. “Any time you lose you have a bad feeling unless you win the whole thing.”
In the 48th minute of play freshman Eddie Puskarich gave the Mustangs the lead that held until the closing two minutes of regulation. Winthrop’s Achille Obougou scored the tying goal – forcing overtime and ultimately penalty kicks.
The Eagles’ goalie Enrique Miranda stopped three of the Mustang attempts to lift Winthrop over SMU 3-1 on penalty kicks.
SMU was aggressive in the early going out shooting the Eagles. However, throughout the entire game Winthrop was walking the thin line of being too physical – collecting four yellow cards and a total of 15 fouls for the game.
“I’m very proud of our guys and the way they played, the way that we choose to play,” McClements said. “I’m very disappointed with the number of fouls. Looking at the sheet you have: yellow card, yellow card, yellow card, yellow card. I think that makes it very tough to play the way we want to play.”
Winthrop’s head coach Rich Posipanko responded after the game.
“I’m not sure that the best team won,” Posipanko said. “I’m thinking maybe the luckiest and maybe the hardest working. Certainly SMU is a very good team and I feel very fortunate to be advancing.”
McClements recognized Posipanko’s response.
“I applaud him for saying that,” said McClements. “We play good soccer, and sometimes you pay the price for doing that. I feel strongly that we should be playing in the next round.”
Despite the disappointing close to the season the Mustangs have a bright future ahead of them with many of their key players returning for next season, including reigning C-USA player of the year Jaime Ibarra, along with Juan Castillo, Tyler Engel, Michael King, and Brendan Lee.