WICHITA — Salina South was less than a minute from extending Wichita Kapaun to overtime when disaster struck.
Kapaun's Ben Bombardier scored on a failed corner clearance with 40 seconds left Monday night to edge South, 3-2, and end the Cougars' season in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs at the Stryker Soccer Complex.
Kapaun, the No. 6 seed in the West region, improved to 11-6 and will face No. 3 Maize South for the Region 3 title on Thursday at Maize South, while the 11th-seeded Cougars' season wrapped up at 6-10-1.
"We matched up pretty well," said South coach Trey Crow, whose Cougars had eight shots on goal to just four for Kapaun. "We controlled possession and had more chances, but we couldn't finish and they finished the opportunities that they got.
All the goals came in the second half, the first three in the span of less than a minute. South struck first in the 58th minute with Brandon Oaks playing a ball to Josh Amador behind the Kapaun defense.
But the Crusaders came right back when South was unable to clear the ball out of their zone and Patrick Dehner made them pay in the 59th minute. A nice individual run by Kevin Black through the Cougar defense put Kapaun in front, also in the 59th minute.
Kevin Hernandez equalized in the 75th minute on a free kick from 30 yards before Kapaun came up with the winning goal. South appeared ready to clear the ball on a Crusader corner kick, but instead brought the ball down inside the box and teed it up for Bombardier, who poked it in.
"Other than not getting the ball clear a couple of times we didn't make a lot of defensive mistakes," Crow said. "But two of their goals came when we were trying to clear a corner."
In a Regional 1 play-in game, Hays also bowed out Monday, losing 1-0 to Arkansas City.