By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
One of the best moments in Providence College Athletics this year came before many students stepped foot onto campus. In their first game of the season, the Providence College Men’s Soccer Team went on the road and knocked off the 8th-ranked Southern Methodist University Mustangs 2-1 in double-overtime. The Friars were coming off a 5-8-5 season in 2017 where they made a big splash to open the 2018 season.
In the previous season, SMU had a lot of success on the field. The Mustangs captured the American Athletic Conference regular season and conference title. The Mustangs would also go on to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. They had compiled a 17-3-1 in 2017, including a perfect 13-0-0 record on their home turf.
The Mustangs returned one of the best players in the AAC, Garrett McLaughlin, who lead the conference in scoring with 14 goals and 31 points.
After a scoreless opening forty-five minutes, the Friars began the scoring in the 52nd minute when Tiago Mendonca ’20RS netted the Friars first goal of the season. Brendan Constantine ’19 came close to doubling their lead with a chance in the 55th minute. With just over ten minutes to go in game, SMU would tie the game up.
It would remain a deadlock at one until the 104th minute in double-overtime when Alex DaCosta ’20 scored the game winner. DaCosta would be named to the All-Tournament team.
A key factor in the Friars’ victory was netminder Colin Miller ’19, who recorded eight saves for the Friars, including a couple down the stretch of regulation. Even though SMU outshot the Friars 24-8, SMU only had nine on target.
The Friars opened the 2018 season in a big way that would help set up their success for the rest of the season. The Friars would go on to finish 10-7-2 on the year, including a 6-2-1 record in conference.
Although many of the teams in Friartown had knocked off nationally ranked opponents, I believe this men’s soccer victory over SMU at the start of the season was by far one of the biggest moments in PC sports this year.