Despite a 4-2 loss at home to West Texas A&M on Wednesday, the three-year-old Eastern New Mexico University men’s soccer team clinched its first Southwest Soccer Conference tournament berth when last-place Missouri Southern managed a 0-0 tie against Northeastern State at Joplin, Mo.
The Greyhounds (4-10-3, 1-5-2 SSC), who finished their league slate against WT, own a win and a tie against Southern (3-9-4, 0-5-2). The Lions host first-place Midwestern State on Friday, but even with a win would lose out to ENMU on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The SSC had been an eight-team league before Incarnate Word, St. Edward’s and St. Mary’s left this season. Now, four of the five teams qualify for the postseason tournament to be played next week at the home of the regular-season champion, either Midwestern State (Wichita Falls, Texas) or Northeastern State (Tahlequah, Okla.).
ENMU will play the host team in a semifinal match on Thursday, with the runnerup and third-place WT facing off in the other semifinal.
“Making the tournament was our No. 1 goal for the season,” ENMU coach Carlos Elizondo said. “We worked hard to give ourselves a chance to compete in the conference tournament. When teams play us, they know it’s going to be a battle.”