Burnaby South finished up its second straight appearance in the B.C. high school AAA boys' soccer championships with a second fourth-place finish.
The South Rebels gave a good account of themselves despite going down to defeat 2-0 to Fraser Valley champion and pre-tournament favourite Tamanawis in the bronze-medal final at Burnaby Lake Sports Complex-West on Saturday.
On Friday, the Rebels were a whistle away from a championship final berth before eventual runner-up Terry Fox tied the contest 2-2 on a late penalty kick. The Port Coquitlam school went on to win the match in a shootout.
"It was heartbreaking, it really was," said South sweeper Tyler Huguet, who was called for a hand-ball infraction in the box. "We wanted to be (in the final) so badly. This was the year. We all thought (it was)."
But despite not coming away with a medal, Huguet said the boys were proud of their achievement over the last two seasons.
"We all wanted to win, but we're all still happy. We had a great year. I've been playing since Grade 8 and this was the best season," said Huguet. "We made it to fourth (place) for the second year in a row."
In the consolation final, the two teams played to a scoreless draw.
The first score came in the 70th minute after one of many Tamanawis counter attacks finally got through the otherwise solid South back line, springing Happy Pahal into the clear for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Pahal's low, hard strike beat South keeper Jason Sherle.
Ten minutes later, Tamanawis increased its lead with a well-taken header by Dilpreet Brar off a cross at the far post.
Moments later, Sherle made a big stop and then gobbbled up a rebound to snuff out another Tamanawis scoring chance.
South striker and Commissioner's 16 pick Matt Shannik and Nick Leonard teamed up for a couple of late shots on goal that tested the Surrey keeper.
In the crossover semifinal, South led Terry Fox 2-0 before a late goal off a corner kick gave the opposition life.
"It was difficult to pick up the pieces as a team. But we responded with so much courage. How they came back today defined them. It's a good learning experience to go through that," said South coach Robbie Puni.
Shannik led South with eight goals during the tournament, but was pipped for the Golden Boot award by Keegan Lang of Dover Bay, who surpassed the South striker following a 9-1 victory over Correlieu in final match for 13th place overall.
Shannik potted five goals in a 6-0 win over Mount Baker on Thursday. He also tallied both goals in South's 2-1 victory over Kelowna to top Pool B. Shannik and Nick Hernandez also had single goals in the semifinal loss to Terry Fox.
Glenn Zheng added a marker against Mt. Baker and a second counter in the Rebels' 3-1 win over Sardis. Tyus Batiste and Hernandez also scored in the pool match.
Charles Best defeated Fox in the championship final 1-0.