EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE men's soccer dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to end the regular season Saturday night at Korte Stadium.
Sebastian Garcia-Herreros netted the game-winner for the visitors with 2:14 to play in the first overtime period, tapping in a loose ball from five yards away.
SIUE finished the regular season 7-9-1 overall. The Cougars completed their first season in the Mid-American Conference with a 2-3 record and had already clinched a spot in next weekend's conference championship.
"It's tough to swallow because we did do a lot of things well," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "Especially in the second half."
West Virginia improved to 9-5-4 overall and 1-2-2 in the MAC. The Mountaineers must await Sunday's result of the Bowling Green vs. Western Michigan match to know if they will play in the tournament.
The Mountaineers got on the board first when Rushawn Larmond buried a penalty kick in the 25th minute. WVU carried the lead into halftime.
The Cougars turned up the pressure in the second half in the form of eight shots compared to just four in the first half. For the game, the Cougars outshot the Mountaineers 13-9.
"I thought we attacked with a lot more urgency in our play," Sanchez said of SIUE's play in the second half.
SIUE found the equalizer in the 57th minute. Greg Solawa worked the ball down the right side before delivering a cross to the back post, where Johan DePicker finished from six yards away. It was DePicker's first goal as a Cougar.
The Cougars had several other close chances during regulation, but couldn't find the game-winner.
Saturday's game marked the final home game for six seniors. Mohamed Awad, Gabe Christianson, Kyle Dal Santo, Joel Duncan, Devyn Jambga and Austin Polster each were recognized during a pregame ceremony.
The MAC Tournament will be played Friday and Sunday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Western Michigan is the No. 1 seed and host. The Cougars don't yet know who they'll play in Friday's semifinal.
"We have to have a higher expectation for ourselves throughout and get ready for Friday," Sanchez said. "We're two games away from making the NCAA Tournament, and ultimately that's the goal."