Strawberry Crest boys soccer coach Scott Vomacka could only shake his head after Friday night's match at home against Plant.
And for good reason.
There was little Vomacka could do but shrug off the 2-1 loss that ended the undefeated streak of Strawberry Crest (10-1-1) and continued the roll of an increasingly confident Plant (8-3) side.
"It is what it is," Vomacka said. "It's a game and a tough loss."
Tough perhaps because of how it happened.
The game was in stoppage time when Plant defender Seth Rinkevich sent a long pass into the Chargers' box, and in what will probably play over in the Chargers' minds in slow motion, a defender played the ball back into his own net.
"It was a brutal way for a great game to end," Vomacka said.
The prior 78 minutes were solid as both defenses played well with Plant's back line holding off a speedy attack from Mazeed Aro-Lambo and Aldair Moralez-Sanchez and Strawberry Crest limiting the Panthers to just four shots on goal.
One of those shots came in the 21st minute as Tyler Rorrer sent a corner kick near side and found a waiting Rinkevich, who delivered the opening score. Plant came close to pushing the lead to two about nine minutes later when the two again nearly connected, but Rinkevich's header went off the frame.
"I saw it going in but at the last second it hit the post," Rinkevich said. "They were two beautiful gifts right in at my head and I should have put them both in."
The Chargers looked a little flat in the first half but seemed to have new life in the final 25 minutes of the match. In the 64th minute as Plant defenders worked to prevent Aro-Lambo and Moralez-Sanchez from scoring, into the box streaked Collin Archer who took a deflected Aro-Lambo shot and buried it for Strawberry Crest's lone goal.
"Coming in we knew they attacked quick and we came in with the mindset of stopping their top three players," Plant defender Zach Thompson said. "The speed and the touch those guys have is impressive a