Winthrop's week started with the slimmest of chances of getting the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in next week's Big South Conference tournament.
Those hopes went out the window Tuesday when Liberty disposed of VMI.
Now, following what coach Rich Posipanko described as a 2-1 "gift" to Coastal Carolina Wednesday, the Eagles are looking at the third or even the fourth seed when the three-day tournament that decides the BSC representative to the NCAA tournament kicks off at Eagle Field.
Coastal Carolina (9-7-1, 5-0 BSC) wrapped up the top seed with the win. If the Chanticleers beat Radford in their regular-season finale, the Eagles (9-3-3, 3-2-1) will finish third.
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But a Highlanders victory would drop the Eagles to fourth.
"Obviously, we want third because that means we wouldn't have to play the No. 1 seed until the championship," Posipanko said. "I don't care who is No. 1, I just don't want to have to play a fresh team if we make it to the semifinals."
Posipanko pointed to three "major league" mistakes that led to his team's downfall. An own goal early in the second half, a defensive lapse that left Coastal's Mkhokheli Dube in a one-on-one face-off against All-Big South first team goalie Patrick Mitrovich and a poorly missed gimme by preseason Big South Player of the Year Saidi Isaac did the Eagles in.
"It's very frustrating that a team as good as we are would give them two goals, then miss an easy shot," Posipanko said.
Winthrop's first mistake came when a shot from Daniel Revivo bounced off Chants goalie Aaron Went right to Isaac. The net was wide open, but Isaac shanked a shot from 12 feet.
Coastal got on the board at the 60:43 mark when Otto Loewy's attempt to clear the ball went into the net. It was the second straight year that Winthrop has given up an own goal against Coastal.
The one in 2006 gave the Chants a 1-0 win in double overtime.
Coastal went up 2-0 seven minutes later when Dube took advantage of a defensive lapse and buried a shot into the right corner of the net.
Winthrop finally scored in the 81st minute when Said Abdi took a cross from Cameron Alksnis and beat Went.
Coastal-Winthrop games are usually physical and Wednesday's was no exception. There were 42 fouls called.
"I was pleased with the work rate and our effort," Posipanko said. "We're too good to make the mistakes we did."