With their teammates in a state of disbelief, watching their opponents celebrate, Papez and Reigelsperger locked eyes and hugged one another with all the emotion of experiencing a previously-undefeated season now with one raw blemish.
The Park City High School girls' soccer team, which hadn't lost a match since the season started on Aug. 9 in Logan, suffered its only loss of the season with the state crown on the line 1-0 against the Snow Canyon Warriors.
While Warriors' won their first 3A state title in front of their jubilant fans, Park City, for the second time in three seasons, fell in heart-wrenching fashion at Rio Tinto Stadium. Two years ago, Juan Diego's Emily Bruder scored a stoppage-time goal to give the Soaring Eagle the 3A title over the Miners.
On Saturday, it was Snow Canyon's Sarah Henderson who scored the only goal of the match. Following a hand ball call outside the Park City 18-yard box, the Warrior forward stepped to the ball and delivered a magical moment in the 72nd minute when she struck the ball with perfect pace and power. Park City senior goalkeeper Skye Mooney came within inches of tipping the ball away, but the shot kissed off the crossbar and bounced into the Miner net.
"She took a perfect shot," said an emotional Park City head coach Chip Cook. "It couldn't have been more perfect."
Despite controlling much of the match with its possession-style play, Park City was suddenly faced with the task of keeping its undefeated season alive with eight minutes remaining.
Snow Canyon was able to quell the Miner attack when it mattered most and, as the announcer at Rio Tinto counted down from 10, the shrieks from the Warrior fan base grew louder. Park City could do nothing more than watch as the clock ran out on its previously-undefeated year.
"We were clearly the better team," Cook said. "We had a great game today, and we got unlucky.
"Did (Snow Canyon) deserve to win the game? Absolutely not. We owned them from start to finish. We had double the shots they had, but we all know that that's part of the life of a soccer player."
The Miners did have their chances, and none was more agonizing than in the 64th minute when Park City junior forward Jessica Dancy hit the post twice in a five-second span. The Park City speedster rifled a right-footed shot from inside the box that kissed off the right post, only to squirt back to her. She put a left-footed shot on frame, but the goalpost denied the Miner again.
"We had the better part of possession," Cook said. "We just couldn't convert. That's just soccer -- it's a hard game."
As Snow Canyon danced, sang and celebrated its first-ever 3A title, Park City players and the coaching staff walked toward the south side of the stadium, their second-place trophy in hand. It was there that Cook delivered her most difficult post-game speech of the season.
"We just reassured them that this doesn't diminish what they accomplished this season," Cook said. "I think what I'm going to remember most about this season is just what a special group of individuals this is: talented, team-focused, hard-working, everything."
In a two-day span, Park City experienced the highs and lows of soccer. In Friday's 1-0 3A semifinal win over defending 3A champion Ogden, the Miners were able to exorcise the demons of last year's semifinal loss to the Tigers.
But on Saturday, despite dominating the pace of the match and creating a multitude of scoring chances, Park City saw another team raise the 3A trophy. Now, the Miners must wait for a return trip to Rio Tinto Stadium in 2013 in search of their first state title since 2005.
"We're going to be sad -- we're going to be sad for a while," Cook said. "It will take time to recover from this, but we have to look back and take all the positives from this season -- that they were a fantastic team through and through. It was an amazing group."