Mason fell to the University of North Carolina Seahawks on Saturday night. File photo.

Mason fell to the University of North Carolina Seahawks on Saturday night. File photo.

The George Mason men’s soccer team’s hopes were dashed Saturday night as they lost to the University of North Carolina – Wilmington Seahawks 2-1 in double overtime. Both teams were playing for a chance at receiving a postseason berth, but the Patriots’ loss put them outside of the top four teams who play for the conference championship.

The Patriots opened their season unable to win a game against Old Dominion, VCU, Drexel or William & Mary. Winning only one of those games would have put them in a tie for fourth place, just making the postseason, after playing on Saturday.

The Patriots opened up the match and quickly found a way to get a shot on goal only about three minutes into the game. After both teams headed off the field for halftime with the score at 0-0, it was apparent that they shot the best chance either team had to score by dominating the first half with midfield fights for possession.

“We all worked with each other,” said freshman goalkeeper Sean Cote. “They left their heart on the field. We had to win this game, and that’s how we played.”

Seven minutes into the second half, the Seahawks’ junior forward Shawn Guderian played a ball with little coverage in Patriots territory and sent it to sophomore midfielder Etienne Boulanger. In a one-on-one matchup with Sean Cote, Boulanger powered the ball in off Cote’s fingertips.

“Our defense, I do not know where they were,” said a clearly upset Cote after the game. “But it was a perfect ball in. I tried everything I could. I got a finger on it, but it slipped in. I do not know how.”

Mason began to pick up the pace and as the clock wound down, the players started to appear almost frantic. With 33 second left in regulation, freshman forward Hugh Roberts threw the ball into play towards the Seahawk’s goal where senior forward Parker Walton jumped in the air to smash the ball into the goal.

“It was big,” said Walton. “With 30 seconds left we needed a goal to take it to overtime. I scored the goal but it was a fight for the whole team. We fought the whole game, and it was crucial.”

That feeling resonated with the team.

“We know we had that game,” said Cote.

The Patriots played with high emotion and momentum in front of nearly 1,500 fans, nine seniors and some of the team’s alumni, but were unable to put the ball in during the first overtime.

“Terribly disappointing for the guys and the program to have a defeat like that especially after we had momentum,” said Head Coach Greg Andrulis after the game. “They fought so hard to come back.”

At the 102-minute mark, the Seahawks found themselves behind the Mason defense and in another one-on-one matchup. Tyler Clare blasted the ball in for the win.

“I know we have a good group,” said Andrulis. “We have a good foundation and we’ll just keep trying to get better.”