The Point Park men’s soccer team has been on a tear as of late.
They are already having a historic season, led by Mitchell Roell, Wessel Rietveld, Geert Bijl and goalkeeper Jesse Haak.
The Pioneers’ 13-win season is the most wins by a Pioneer men’s squad in the history of the program – it is even more impressive considering 12 of those wins were consecutive.
The problem that the men’s team has this year, however, is a big one: they are not eligible for River States Conference (RSC) playoffs.
You may be thinking now: What? You literally just said they were having a historic season, why wouldn’t they be eligible for playoffs?
Well, to find the answer, we have to visit the RSC quarterfinal loss from last year.
At the end of that game, a massive brawl ensued; the cops were called, suspensions were dished out and, most importantly, Point Park was banned from RSC playoffs for this season.
The only way the Pioneers could clinch a playoff berth this year is to get No. 1 in the conference to win an automatic bid to the national tournament.
With how things were going for the men this season, it didn’t seem like an unlikely fate.
That was before WVU Tech. That was before Rio Grande.
Both WVU Tech and Rio Grande are ranked in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Top 25. At the time of Point Park’s matches against them, WVU Tech was ranked No. 12 and Rio Grande was ranked No. 14.
It was almost an expected loss against the Golden Bears, but a close one at that. Point Park stayed in it until the final buzzer, but lost 4-3. That put the Pioneers at 5-1 in RSC play.
They could have still clinched first.
Then Rio Grande happened.
The RedStorm struck first, but Roell scored right after. It seemed like a pretty fair matchup.
The next few minutes proved tough for the Pioneers, and they went to the locker room down 4-1. Tough, but still workable.
The RedStorm wanted to put the nail in the Pioneers’ coffin though, and they definitely did just that.
The second half gave Rio Grande six more goals… but only gave Point Park one.
That was all she wrote for the Pioneers, and they lost 10-2 on Monday evening.
The sad part is, that was all she wrote for the Pioneers’ season too. First place is virtually untouchable, unless a very specific, highly improbable combination of events happen – but a girl can dream, right?
Unfortunately, it looks like the Pioneers will not be reaching the postseason this year, but the season was historic nonetheless.