ROCHESTER — Even as Kelsie Briggs sat for a more than hourlong bus ride back to Mahomet-Seymour High on Tuesday night, she couldn't quite produce an explanation for what transpired earlier in the evening.
"I'm still not even sure what happened," the Bulldogs girls' soccer coach said. "It makes it a little more painful."
Briggs was referring to a potential match-tying goal with roughly 15 minutes remaining in a Class 2A Rochester Sectional semifinal versus Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.
After Brooke Benson's strike initially was given the all-clear by one official, a different one waved it off, and M-S wound up on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision.
"I personally thought that it was a goal," Briggs said. "The goalie had to get it out of the net. Then they checked the net for holes. ... I did not get an explanation, and I was really confused."
Instead, the Bulldogs (24-2) received only Cayla Koerner's marker less than two minutes into the tilt with the Cyclones (20-4-2), who countered with two tallies from Faith Washko.
SHG keeper Chloe Hillyer came up with 10 saves, and M-S was turned away on this stage for the fourth consecutive year.
"The girls wanted it and worked hard the whole game," Briggs said. "This definitely was not an easy game for (the Cyclones) to win."
And although SHG got the upper hand this time, and the Bulldogs will lose seven athletes to graduation, Briggs would love a rematch next year.
"This is what we played for," she said. "This is how we ... prove how good we really are."