Esteban BustillosManaging Editor
In an ASC title match that saw rough play from both squads and missed opportunities from the Comets, Hardin-Simmons took down the men’s soccer team 2-0.
The game was close early on with neither team scoring for the majority of the first half. The Comets came close to scoring on at least two occasions during this time, but they failed to convert those opportunities into points. The tide started to turn towards the Cowboys favor during the 17th minute in the first when Matt Pitcock headed the ball in off a throw in assist.
Heading into the second, HSU widened the margin early off a goal from Ewa Coleman in the 46th minute. Even though the Comets had 21 shots compared to Hardin-Simmon’s 8, head coach Jason Hirsch said it was these set pieces that ultimately hurt UTD.
“They scored off of a long throw in and a corner kick, two set pieces,” Hirsch said. ” We knew that, going in, that’s what they do. That’s what they play for. We knew that. But knowing it and stopping it are two different things.”
The Comets attempted to battle back to stay in the game, but HSU’s defense proved to be too strong, with a total of four saves being made by the team in the second half.
The emotional toll the tournament had taken on both teams was visible throughout the contest, with six yellow cards and one red card being handed out throughout the match. Several times players had to be pulled away from one another after a scrap for the ball almost lead to a more physical confrontation. After the game, the trend continued, with players from both squads having to be dispersed after emotions got heated.
Hirsch said the Cowboys were a difficult opponent to face in the final match of the tournament.
“It was a tough game,” he said. “They’re physical. They’re athletic. They don’t give you much time or space. We’re disappointed, but that’s soccer. There’ s got to be a winner and there’s got to be a loser.”
Omar Jaroun, Connor Crabtree and Dalton McFarling were all named to the All-Tournament team for UTD after the game. The team was given a berth to the NCAA tournament on Monday. They play against Pomona-Plitzer at 5 p.m. on Saturday.