BOISE, Idaho -- The Three Rivers boys under-13 team had high hopes of it first national championship Monday after cruising undefeated through three pool-play games at the U.S. Club Soccer National Cup X in Boise.
But its opponent, Napa (Calif.) Boys 97/98, had other ideas, winning 3-2 in a shootout to claim the title at Hubbard Fields.
"We got a little overconfident. I think we believed we had the game already won," said Three Rivers coach Cesar Robles.
Three Rivers, which had beaten Napa 3-1 in pool play two days earlier, fell behind 2-0 in the first half before Emilio Meras scored twice in the second half to send the match into overtime.
"At halftime, I told them, 'If you guys want this you need to fight. They're not going to give it to you,' " Robles said. "I was very happy with what they did. To be down by two goals and come back showed me a lot of character."
In overtime, Three Rivers took a 3-2 lead on a goal by Jonathan Mata. But the lead was short-lived after a defensive miscue led to a Napa goal and resulted in a shootout to decide the match.
But Three Rivers missed its first two shots in the shootout, while Napa nailed its two.
By the time Nick Yamauchi and Connor Seed converted their spot kicks, it was too late to catch up, and Napa claimed the championship with its final kick.
"It hurts to lose it after doing so well," Robles said. "We kicked everybody's butts (in pool play), but when the final came we slacked off a little."