SANDY -- Disappointed doesn't begin to describe how the St. Joseph high school boys soccer team felt after their 3-2 loss to Manti in the state 2-A championship game.
Broken-hearted comes close.
After another stellar season, the Jayhawks found their way to Rio Tinto on Saturday afternoon, but like last year, they simply couldn't finish.
"They played tremendous soccer every day with the goal of redemption for choking in the last three minutes of last year's finals game," coach Derek Tate said. "That obviously didn't happen."
In a closely contested match that saw plenty of offense and miraculous saves in-goal on both sides, the difference was four minutes as Manti sophomore forward Alvaro Cardenas worked his way through a host of Jayhawks in the 76th and finished a ball from just inside the box.
"We just broke down defensively," St. Joseph goaltender Mitch Koehler said. "We really thought we'd win."
Manti opened scoring when midfielder Juan Miguel lined up a shot from 20 yards out and put it into the bottom right corner past the outstretched hands of Koehler.
The Jayhawks countered in the 33rd minute as St. Joseph striker Adam Brodstein scooped up a ball from a scrum near the Manti box. His deflected shot barely crossed the line before Manti keeper Antonio Jimenez swatted it out and officials confirmed the score.
Three minutes later, the Jayhawks logged the go-ahead goal and Brodstein grabbed an assist after his corner kick from the left side was headed home by Connor Letendre.
"Adam served it in on the corner and I just tried to do everything I could to get my head on the ball," Letendre said. "Whether it hit me or not, I'm not really sure, but somehow it got in."
Four minutes into the second half Manti equalized when Carlo Garcia picked up a ball behind St. Joseph's defense and beat Koehler on the right side.
The teams played to a stalemate before Cardenas shut the door on redemption for the Jayhawks with four minutes remaining.
"It's beyond disappointing," Tate said. "We're a great team and they've worked so hard all year, but today we just didn't play the way we play.
Tate has just one senior from the roster graduating this week and says his guys will be even hungrier next spring.
"There's no way they'll settle for less than championship."
In the 3-A title game, Dixie topped Juan Diego 1-0 for the titl.