PENSACOLA, Fla. – Fernando Silveira scored on a free kick in the 55th minute to put West Florida ahead 2-1, and the Argonauts made it stand the rest of the way, defeating West Alabama for the Gulf South Conference men's soccer championship Sunday at Brosnaham Park.
West Alabama dropped to 11-7-1 in just its second season of competition in men's soccer. West Florida, ranked 19th nationally, won its ninth GSC title and improved to 13-4-1.
Evan Beutler gave West Alabama a quick 1-0 lead, scoring unassisted just 34 seconds into the match. The goal was Beutler's second of the season.
West Florida's Zach Reynolds tied the score at 1-1 by converting a penalty kick in the 18th minute and the score stood 1-1 at the half.
"It's tough to lose in the final game and in that manner," UWA head coach Matthew Thorne said. "To be up 1-nil and to concede a penalty kick to tie the game … we had our chances."
West Alabama had an opportunity to tie the score in the 68th minute, but West Florida keeper Frederik Bruhn stopped a penalty kick attempt from GSC player of the year Thibault Charmey.
"I am very proud of what our lads have accomplished in just our second year," Thorne said. "We are so close, knocking on the door. It's tough to take right now, but UWA has a lot to be proud of in these young men."
Charmey, Vitor Gazza and goalkeeper Lavares Stone were voted onto the GSC All-Tournament Team.