A disconsolate Thomas Serna had a hard time explaining top-seeded Saddleback's heartbreaking loss to Long Beach Millikan in the second round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs, but he gave it a try.
"You can't play against luck," Serna said. "You can't fight it."
Serna's words were not sour grapes. They were the truth.
Saddleback outshot defense-minded Millikan, 21-3, including 10-0 in four overtime periods, but the Roadrunners could only put the ball in the net once and were beaten on penalty kicks, 4-3, after playing to a 1-1 tie.
Serna scored 43 goals in the regular season and two more in Saddleback's first-round victory over Long Beach Poly, but he couldn't put one past Millikan goalkeeper Javier Mendoza Wednesday.
"I just wanted one," Serna said.
It can't be said that Serna didn't have his chances. In the 15th minute of overtime, Serna's header off a free kick from Oscar Retiz, bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and bounced straight down. In sudden death, Serna had two more excellent chances on headers, but both floated over the crossbar.