UTSA’s soccer tournament run comes to an end in quarter finals

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners soccer team (10-5-4, 3-2-3 C-USA) saw their first ever appearance in the Conference USA tournament come to an end in the quarterfinals at the hands of the Old Dominion Monarchs (11-4-1, 6-1-1 C-USA). A defensive struggle throughout, neither team was able to gain an edge in regulation and had to settle things in overtime. The loss brought an end to a historic season for UTSA as they qualified for the conference tournament for the first time in program history and won 10 games in a season for the first time since 2010. 

The first half was a tepid one for both sides. Each team was content to play conservatively to limit chances for the other team, and the plan was executed well on both sides. 

The ‘Runners registered just one shot in the first half and the Monarchs had two. Keepers Jil Schneider and Kasey Perry had little to do in the first half as all three shots failed to find their target and force them into making a save.

The aggression began to pick up slightly in the second half. Each team began to make a push to grab the first goal of the game and put pressure on the other side to find an equalizer. In the 56th and 57th minutes Alissa Stewart and Kendall Kloza put consecutive shots on net for the ‘Runners, but the Monarchs’ keeper Perry was there to deny them. On the other side, Schneider made a nice save in the 70th minute to deny ODU’s Carla Morich. Sensing an opportunity late, ODU surged forward and exerted immense pressure on the UTSA defense. The Monarchs’ attack registered three shots in the final five minutes of regulation, but Schneider denied the one shot that was heading on target and the game headed to overtime. 

Unfortunately for the ‘Runners, the overtime period was a short one. Just three minutes into the overtime period the Monarchs were given a free kick just outside the ‘Runners’ penalty area. ODU’s Cami Johnstone lobbed the ball into the area and found the head of Riley Kennett who nodded a dribbler directly downwards that trickled its way past the outstretched arms of Schneider for the game winning goal in sudden death overtime. 

The game marked the final appearances of seniors Ellis Patterson and Alyssa Blankenship. Patterson is UTSA’s career leader in assists and ranks second all-time in career points scored. The ‘Runners had been living dangerously in overtime all season, playing in eight games that went to overtime, but this was the first of those games that they lost.