Obstruction call wipes out tying goal; Helias wins, 1-0.
The goal that was not ended the season for the Rolla High School boys' soccer team.
A goal by Bulldog senior Caleb Homan with 1:30 remaining in regulation apparently forced a 1-1 tie in Friday night's Missouri Class 2 District 10 championship game against Jefferson City Helias.
However, one of the game officials waved the goal off, calling top-seeded Rolla for obstruction of the Helias goal-keeper. Second-seeded Helias was able to hold Rolla out of the nets for the final 1:30 and post a 1-0 victory for the district championship.
Rolla, ranked No. 2 in the final Class 2 regular-season state poll, ends the season at 24-3.
Helias (18-5) will play Union (16-10) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in sectional action at Union.
The Bulldogs dominated play throughout...but simply could not score. Rolla had several scoring opportunities but either hit the post, fired a shot over the post...or had a goal called back.
After a scoreless 68 minutes the Helias Crusaders, ranked No. 10 in the state poll, scored on their only shot-on-goal in the game with 11 minutes remaining.
"I'm not real sure why we didn't have anyone step up and pressure the ball on that shot," said RHS head coach Mike Howard. "But give their kid credit; he put it right in the corner."
With eight minutes remaining Homan nearly tied it when he hit the post with a header.
Then the Bulldogs appeared to have tied it with 1:30 remaining when Homan headed in a restart from senior Logan Houf. However, the officials wiped out the goal on the obstruction call.
Howard said he has never seen that call during his coaching career.
"I don't understand the call on that play at all," he said. "There are 21 people in the box and we have as much right to stand in one spot as they do.
"However, if we finish our chances earlier, none of that matters. So we can't blame the call for our not advancing."
The loss was particularly crushing, since the Bulldogs were favored to return to a quarterfinal rematch with Carthage. Carthage defeated Rolla in the Class 2 Quarterfinals last year in Carthage.
If both teams had advanced to the quarterfinals this year, it would have been held in Rolla for a chance to move on to the Class 2 Final Four.
"We had a great regular season and these seniors won three district championships, a couple of conference championships and a bunch of tournaments, not to mention winning a ton of games for Rolla soccer," Howard said. "Unfortunately we fell short in the postseason in each season. That old saying, 'offense wins games and defense wins championships,' sure held true for us.
"Our kids have a lot to be proud of and hopefully they can look back at it someday and be happy with what they did and can say they had some fun along the way. I sure enjoyed coaching them. I said a couple of weeks ago that the next loss was going to hurt for a while and it will. Two state-ranked teams in the same district and only one can advance. Helias found a way."