Tie prevents Hounds from clinching berth

CNJ staff

JOPLIN, Mo. — A win over Missouri Southern on Sunday would have clinched the first Southwest Soccer Conference postseason tournament berth in the three-year history of the Eastern New Mexico University men’s program.

As it is, the Greyhounds and Lions battled to a 1-1 tie. That leaves ENMU (4-9-3, 1-4-2) on the doorstep for one of four berths in the five-team SSC, while the last-place Lions (3-9-3, 0-5-1) are still breathing.

After notching road ties against Northeastern State and Southern over the weekend, the Hounds have posted a 2-1-2 record over their last five matches. They end the regular season at home on Wednesday in a 3 p.m. contest against rival West Texas A&M (6-6-3, 3-3-1).

Freshman forward Ryan McClanahan put the Hounds in front with 3:50 left in the half, scoring an unassisted goal. The Lions, who have scored just six goals this season and never more than one in any match, tied it about 15 minutes into the second half when Dushan Gorechan found the back of the net.

Eastern won its earlier meeting against the Lions 1-0 at the ENMU pitch. The teams have played six times in three years, and all were decided by one goal before Sunday’s tie.

Junior goalkeeper Leif Craddock had six saves for the Hounds. Southern outshot ENMU for the match 17-7, including 7-3 on goal.