The Esperanza High School boys' soccer team kept shooting until the final seconds Saturday night when a shot by Brent Bish was tipped over the top of the goal by the Diamond Bar goalkeeper.
The Aztecs simply could not score the goal they needed to send the Southern Section 3-A championship into overtime, and Diamond Bar, an unseeded team, upset the top-seeded, defending champion Aztecs, 2-1, in front of 1,000 at Gahr High School in Cerritos.
Craig Turley, who this season set Southern Section records for goals in a season (67) and a career (191), scored both Diamond Bar goals. Esperanza outshot Diamond Bar, 24-5, but managed only one goal, a penalty kick by Daren Martinez that made it 2-1 with 23 minutes to play.
"Let's face it," said John Coppage, Esperanza coach. "The ball wouldn't go in. We hit the post three times in the last two minutes. The ball wouldn't go in. I couldn't believe it. We kept coming back and coming back, but it wouldn't go in."
Esperanza finishes the season at 23-3-1; Diamond Bar 22-3-2.
The goal that turned out to be the match-winner also turned out to be a matter of dispute.
Turley who had already given Diamond Bar a 1-0 lead, scored his second goal 12 minutes into the second half, on a direct free kick from just beyond the box. His first kick had been blocked by the Esperanza four-man wall, but he was given another when the official ruled the wall was not the required 10 yards away. Turley then kicked a sharp low drive past the left edge of the wall that glanced off a defender and into the back corner of the goal.
But Coppage called the official's ruling a "misapplication," saying that he either should have made the encroachment call before the kick, or allowed the kick to stand, rather than giving Turley two chances.
Don Garrett, Diamond Bar coach, agreed.
"We didn't ask for it (the call)," he said. "He never should have stopped and given it to us over."
But Garrett said he didn't think it was the difference.
"He gave them a cheap one down here," he said, referring to the call that gave Martinez the penalty kick which resulted in Esperanza's only goal.
Esperanza was awarded the kick after Sean Sargent was fouled in the box. Diamond Bar goalkeeper Mark Faurot, who had an outstanding game, guessed wrong, diving to his right as Martinez put it past him to the left.