Hounds make SSC soccer tourney

CNJ staff

PORTALES — The Eastern New Mexico University men’s soccer team clinched its first Southwest Soccer Conference tournament berth Wednesday when last-place Missouri Southern and Northeastern State played to a scoreless in a match at Joplin, Mo.

The Greyhounds (4-10-3, 1-5-2 SSC), who finished their league slate with Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to West Texas A&M, earned the fourth and final playoff spot in the five team conference.

Even though Southern Missouri (3-9-4, 0-5-2) has a game remaining, ENMU holds the tie-breaker edge over Missouri Southern by virtue of a win and a tie.

The regular-season champion, either Midwestern State (Wichita Falls, Texas) or Northeastern State (Tahlequah, Okla.), will host next week’s conference playoffs.

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.”

The SSC had been an eight-team league before Incarnate Word, St. Edward’s and St. Mary’s left this season.