GEORGETOWN - Just when it seemed the Southwestern University men's soccer team were going to have to rely on a Trinity win to clinch a spot in the SCAC Tournament, senior Christian Lopez broke a 1-1 tie in double overtime with a bullet from 35 yards out to give the Pirates a thrilling 2-1 win over the Bulldogs on his Senior Day.
With the win, the Pirates clinch the sixth and final seed at the SCAC Championship next weekend at the University of the Dallas. They will take on Colorado College in the first round.
In a wild match, Southwestern out shot TLU, 25-20, but the Bulldogs earned a 10-5 edge in corner kicks. The Bulldogs took the early lead right before the first half on a quick one touch goal from Edgar Molona in the 43rd minute.
Southwestern had an answer in the 55th minute as Lopez fired a low-shot to the near post to even the match at one. The two teams would move to extra time, the fourth time Southwestern had played in extra time.
It looked as though the game was going to end in a draw; however, a botched clear attempt found the feet of Lopez, who fired from 35 feet out at a wide open net and did not miss with 0.3 seconds to play for the 2-1 victory as the crowd at Varsity Field went into a frenzy.
Lopez led the attack with five shots while freshman Sacco Fernandez added four. Senior Carlos Huntley-Jimenez earned an assist on the first goal. Senior Ryan Benner finished with eight saves in the contest.
Southwestern moves to 5-10-3 overall and snaps a four game losing streak. They also move to 3-8-3 in conference play. The Pirates will close the regular season on Sunday at 12 PM as they welcome in UC-Santa Cruz in non-conference action.