Defending champs go down Round 1

Most years, the Fort Lewis College men’s soccer season lasts well into November.

This isn’t most years.

The No. 6 seed Skyhawks couldn’t hold on to a 2-0 halftime lead as No. 3 Metro State scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half before picking up a late winner in a 3-2 victory over FLC in the quarterfinals of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday in Denver.

Trailing by a pair, the Roadrunners roared back in a big way behind Marc Herschberger. He scored twice in the first five minutes of the second half to erase the FLC lead in as lightning-quick a fashion as the Skyhawks built it.

Pierce Galan put the nail in the coffin of a disappointing season for FLC with a goal in the 72nd minute that held up as the game-winner.

“We got ourselves two goals up. But it’s been like Jeckyll and Hyde all season. We kept making the same mistakes all season,” FLC coach Oige Kennedy said.

The Skyhawks built the lead in rapid-fire fashion in the first half as Yannis Becker and Derek Freeman scored within two minutes of each other, the last coming at the six-minute mark of the first half. But they were unable to dent Metro State goalkeeper Issa Bissau again the rest of the afternoon.

The Roadrunners outshot FLC 18-13, including a 10-5 edge in shots on goal.

Ryan Schaul made seven saves in net for the Skyhawks, who finished their national title defense 9-8-2 overall.

“We’ve just got to get back and work extremely hard to make sure we don’t have a season like this again,” Kennedy said.

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