Soccer ends postseason in disappointing loss to Dayton

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The Billiken men’s soccer team ended their season in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 2-1 overtime loss against conference rival Dayton on Nov. 10. The men were the top seed going into the postseason competition, but, despite outshooting and earning more corners than the Flyers, SLU was unable to seal the victory.

Dayton appeared to be the dominant team in the first half. They earned four corner kicks and hit four shots. The Flyers put three of their shots on goal, forcing junior goalie Sascha Otte to make three saves for the Billikens. SLU took a while to generate any offense, putting only one shot on the frame.

Neither team could find the back of the net for much of the second half, but the Billikens came out of intermission with a much stronger attack and more urgency. However, the Flyers were the first to put a goal on the board in the 78th minute when a Dayton player passed the ball across the box, finding another Dayton attacker who finished the ball past Otte.

SLU’s stronger attack was able to answer with less than two minutes left in the game. The Bills earned a corner, and senior midfielder Joe Saad lofted a ball to find the head of sophomore midfielder Lennart Hein. The ball ricocheted off the cross bar, but junior defender Akeem Richards was there to put the rebound away and tie the game up just in time.

The game headed into overtime with much of the momentum in favor of the Billikens. SLU earned a corner early, but the play did not come off. Five minutes into extra time, Dayton advanced the ball up the flank and a Dayton winger sent the ball into the box for a finish off a header for a 2-1 victory.

Regardless of the disappointing postseason results, the men earned a respectable first-place finish in the A-10 regular season. They had a big win during non-conference play against Wake Forest and tied top teams such as Tulsa and Marquette.

Head coach Mike McGinty was named A-10 Coach of the Year. Saad and senior midfielder Max Karcher were named to the All-Conference second team. Freshman forward Saadiq Mohammed and Murana earned spots on the A-10 All-Rookie team. The Billikens lose six seniors for next season, but will be in action next fall, ready to put together a successful season.