They knew it was a big and important game and for the first half the UTB and TSC soccer team played like it but at the end, culminated by an Our Lady of the Lake University Saints big second half run, UTB and TSC lose a close one 3-2 in front of the home crowd at Scorpion Field on Saturday evening.
"It's a game of two half's." said UTB and TSC head coach Dan Balaguero.
The win would have given UTB and TSC an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.
Early on in the contest it looked as if UTB and TSC would run away with the match constantly attacking the OLLU side of the field and by the 30th minute of the contest had scored twice.
The first score came on an assist by Leonardo Medeiros setting up Ricardo Diegues for the first goal in the 15th minute of the game. In the 29th minute Medeiros would again set up Diegues to take a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
"For the first forty-five minutes the boys were fantastic, we bossed all areas of the game. We knew at the interval that the game was not close to being over." said Balaguero.
The OLLU Saints would reenergize and come out shooting in the second half and on the 56th minute Jorge Cantu shot from inside the box to make it 2-1.
OLLU once again scored when Robert Alexe got behind the defense and on a one on one situation with UTB and TSC goalie Ben Perez drilled a shot passed Perez to knot it up at 2-2.
The score would remain tied and with the clock ticking down and with only 15 seconds remaining in the game OLLU's Alex Gonzalez would hit the clincher getting past the UTB and TSC defense to go up 3-2 and break UTB and TSC dreams of an automatic bid to nationals.
"We gifted OLLU the first goal and that seemed to shift the momentum slightly; the second one was a great finish. At 2-2 we seemed to be in control and looked like we would get the winner and then we got caught late again on a defensive mistake." said Balaguero. "Let's give OLLU credit, they showed a lot of heart to stay in the game and then find a way to win. I wish them look at the national tournament."
UTB and TSC end the regular season at 8-3 with consecutive losses in a one week span.
Next up for UTB and TSC is the first round of the RRAC tournament and a rematch with Northwood University at Scorpion Field on Saturday at 1 p.m.