Late goals doom Roadrunners heading into final weekend

The UTSA soccer team turned some heads earlier this month when they handed North Texas their first (and so far, only) conference loss this year, but the Roadrunners haven’t been able to match that dominant performance since.

UTSA @ WKU – THURSDAY, OCT. 20

UTSA kicked off the weekend early last week, heading to Bowling Green for a Thursday night matchup with league-leading Western Kentucky. Due to a power outage at the Hilltoppers stadium, the game was played at a nearby high school an hour after it was originally scheduled, in front of a mere 127 fans.

The Roadrunners had the upper hand for much of the first half, outshooting WKU 5-4 (3-0 on goal), but the Hilltoppers returned to form after halftime, earning nine corner kicks and outshooting UTSA 8-2.

The Roadrunner defense managed to hold on for 88 minutes before giving up two goals in the final minutes of the match and dropping their 10th game this year.

UTSA vs. FIU – SUNDAY, OCT. 23

In the second game of the weekend, UTSA returned home for a match-up with an FIU squad (1-4-2 C-USA) that had only scored four goals in conference play through eight games.

The Roadrunners opened the scoring in the 39th minute when Alexis Alaniz beat her defender to a ball served across the box by Kaja Skare, and slipped it past the keeper for a 1-0 UTSA lead.

It looked like UTSA would take that lead all the way and put themselves in prime position for a tournament berth, but FIU’s Alyssa Robinson had another idea when she scored her fifth goal of the season in the 85th minute to send the game into overtime.

It only took four minutes of overtime for Robinson to get on the scoreboard again, heading the ball past the UTSA keeper and throwing a huge wrench into the Roadrunners’ postseason plans.

The two late goals by Robinson capped off a three-game stretch that saw UTSA give up five goals, all of them coming after the 80th minute. These late struggles aren’t a new phenomenon either, as the Roadrunners have given up just two goals in the first 60 minutes of their last six games, compared to 12 goals in the final 30 plus overtime.

2016 C-USA TOURNAMENT Picture

As we head into the final weekend of conference play, the Roadrunners are on the outside looking in, needing a flurry of results to earn their first postseason berth since 2011.

Taking a look at the conference standings, the top six teams have punched their tickets to the tournament, including UTSA’s next opponent Louisiana Tech, while UTSA is one of six teams vying for the final two spots.

School              W L T Pts  Rem.Games
x-North Texas       7 1 0  21      2
x-WKU               7 2 0  21      1
x-Rice              7 2 0  21      1
x-Florida Atlantic  6 2 1  19      1
x-Charlotte         5 3 1  16      1
x-Louisiana Tech    5 3 0  15      2
UTEP                4 5 0  12      1
Marshall            3 4 2  11      1
-------------------------------------
Old Dominion        3 5 0   9      2
UTSA                3 6 0   9      1
FIU                 2 4 2   8      2
Southern Miss       2 5 2   8      1
Middle Tennessee    2 8 0   6      0
UAB                 1 7 2   5      0

UTSA POSTSEASON SCENARIOS

The Conference USA soccer tie-breaking criteria is as follows:

  1. Head to head results between tied teams;
  2. Point total against common opponents;
  3. Goals differential from common opponents;
  4. Goals scored against common opponents combined;
  5. Best RPI.

With losses to UTEP, Old Dominion and FIU, UTSA will not be able to win a tie-breaker involving any of the three, but the Roadrunners would beat Marshall on point total against common opponents if both teams finish with 12 points.

Here are the results that UTSA will need in order to qualify for the C-USA tournament (all games Friday, unless specified):

  • UTSA win vs. Louisiana Tech,
  • Marshall loss vs. Charlotte (or tie, plus UTEP win/tie vs. USM),
  • Old Dominion loss/tie @ WKU,
  • and either of the following:
    • FIU loss vs. North Texas (Thu) AND Old Dominion loss/tie @ FIU (Sun)
    • FIU tie vs. North Texas (Thu) AND Old Dominion tie @ FIU (Sun)

It all starts with the Roadrunners needing a solid performance against tournament team Louisiana Tech (5-3 C-USA) at Park West at 7 p.m. on Friday night, but the other results on Thursday and Friday seem likely to fall in UTSA’s favor with Charlotte, WKU and North Texas all jockeying for tournament positioning.

If the stars align and all four of those results do go our way, it would come down to the final matchday with a clash between Old Dominion and FIU at noon on Sunday deciding the Roadrunners’ fate.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter @RowdyReport to get all the latest updates on the matches impacting our postseason chances.

Published by

Darrell Williams

Darrell started writing about UTSA football before it was even a thing, then he took a few years off, and now he’s back.