ROY--Roy coach Glenn Puckrin stood in the shadows, his tearstained players slowly gathering their equipment behind him, and spoke of opportunities that never come again.
After 80 minutes or regularion and overtime wasn't enough to break a 2-2 deadlock, Puckrin's Royals lost in a 3-1 penalty kick shootout to Orem in the state 4-A boys soccer quarterfinals.
Their season was over. What Puckrin was just now realizing was that it had been on a terminal case of life support since early in the second half.
In the sixth minute of the second half, one of Roy's best defenders, junior Giovanni Vasquez, was red carded and ejected after referees said he stepped on a downed Orem player. Playing with just 10 players to Orem's 11, the Royals were unable to create consistent scoring attacks for the remainder of the game and scored their only goal after the ejection on a penalty kick.
"It's just a shame," Puckrin said. "I thought overall we were the stronger, the better team, to be honest. But, we wish Orem all the best. We can't take that away from them."
To compensate for the missing player, the Royals shifted a forward back to Vasquez's slot on defense. Using this strategy, Roy was able to hold the Tigers to one goal the rest of the game, but it disrupted the rhythm the Royals' goal-scorers have developed over the last chunk of the season.
"We lost what we had up top," Puckrin said. "They've had a good partnership the last several games and were working well together (before the ejection)."
Even after playing the final 54 minutes down a man, the Royals had a chance to win it after each team failed to score in the two sudden-death overtimes, which forced a best-of-five shootout. With Roy trailing 2-1 after three shootout chances, Trase Stapley missed on a scorched ball that clanked off the top of the goal to put the Royals on the verge of elimination. Mitch Fowler connected on Orem's next try, sending the Tigers streaking to their gathering of fans and the Royals sauntering to their sideline in disbelief.
"We knew who our first five (players to kick in the shootout) were going to be," Puckrin said. "Some of those guys have never missed a PK in their life, so that's got to be even tougher for them to swallow."
The Royals got go-ahead goals from Stapley in the fourth minute of the first half and Michael Ropelato in the 11th minute of the second, but the Tigers struck back in short order on both occasions.
The loss ended a surprising season for the senior-laden Royals (13-5), who hadn't made the playoffs since 2004, but tied Box Elder for the Region 5 crown and won their first-round match against Herriman.
"We had a good season," Puckrin said. "That's just a cruel part of the game -- going down on PKs. But, playing 50 minutes with 10 men is pretty impressive."
Orem faces Murray Tuesday in the semifinals. The Spartans topped Timpanogos 2-1.
* MOUNTAIN VIEW 2, LOGAN 0: At Orem, Region 5 co-champion Logan never cracked the goal and saw its season end.
The Bruins' Chris Reyes scored twice, while Austin McBride posted the shutout.
Mountain View will meet Olympus, a 2-0 winner over Springville in the other 4-A semifinal.
* WEBER 2, LEHI 0: At Pleasant View, even a few elbows couldn't deter the Warriors and their march into the state 5-A semifinals.
Region 1 champion Weber shut down the Pioneers on Friday afternoon, and will prepare for a showdown with Brighton next Tuesday at Woods Cross High School.
Game time is 4:30 p.m., but may be changed to accommodate the Warriors' 11 seniors who plan to be in graduation ceremonies at that time.
Weber coach Jan Swift was pleased with the outcome but sent a pair of players to the hospital for stitches and check-ups.
"It was physical for sure, and shouldn't have been," he said. "Overall I was pleased. One we get a goal, the kids just start to pound the keeper."
After missing a chance in the first minutes, Jaden Bybee slotted in a goal in the 29th minute, taking a pass from Kenny Gordon.
Both teams had chances in the first half.
In the 71st minute, Tyler Murdock scored when Jacob Howell, who had come on at halftime for the injured Parker Dixon, played a ball forward for the final score.
Joe Wheelwright made a couple of critical saves for the Warriors (15-1-2), while Zac Barker and Zac Dixon paced a strong defensive attack.
Brighton defeated Bingham 4-1 in the other quarterfinal.
* DAVIS 1, LONE PEAK 0: At Highland, the action came late but it sent the Darts and their fans home exhilarated after the nail-biting win.
Davis' Colby Child scored the game's only goal in the 79th minute, but Darts goalkeeper Mitch Jensen came up with a pair of big plays to claim the win.
In stoppage time, a penalty was called in Davis' box and a penalty kick was awared to the the Knights.
Jensen blocked the PK, but the referee determined that he had left his line early and a re-kick was given.
Jensen cooly blocked the second PK to punch Davis' ticket to the 5-A semifinals.
Davis (14-3-1) is set to play Copper Hills at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Woods Cross High.
Copper Hills and Riverton played to a scoreless game, with host Copper Hills advancing on penalty kicks, 3-1.
The state title games are set for Thursday at Rio Tinto Stadium, with start times at 4:30 p.m. (4-A) and 7 p.m. (5-A).