The Columbia Falls boys soccer team came up just short in the first round of the state A playoffs Saturday, losing to Frenchtown 4-3 in the final three minutes of play on the road.
Frenchtown took a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game, but the Wildcats tied it up at the 36-minute mark when Tristan Grein scored on a feed from Auguste Emond four minutes before the end of the half.
Frenchtown extended the lead in the second half to 3-1 on two quick goals by Caleb Stanicar, but the Cats hung tough and Emond found the back of the net twice in four minutes to make it 3-3 with 7 minutes to go.
The Cats dominated possession, but Frenchtown was able to find the back of the net with three minutes left to grab the 4-3 win.
“We played our best game of the season,” coach O’Brien Byrd said. He said after Frenchtown went up 3-1 the Cats shifted it into another level to tie it up.
He said the team is already talking about next year. They lose just four seniors and Byrd gave kudos to them — brothers Tristan and Jakob Grein, Alex Garate and Brendan Hoerner were exemplary leaders, he noted.
“They were tremendous examples of how to play the game,” he said.
The boys ended the year at 6-6 overall.
Columbia Falls 1 2 — 3
Frenchtown 1 3 — 4
F — Caleb Stanicar, 7:00
CF — Tristan Grein (Auguste Emond), 36:00
F — Stanicar (Tanner Fields), 46:00
F — Stanicar, 48:00
CF — Emond, 69:00
CF — Emond, 73:00
F — Fields, 77:00
Shots on goal — Columbia Falls 9, Frenchtown 15; Corner kicks — Columbia Falls 5, Frenchtown 9; Goalie saves — Columbia Falls 11 (Niels Getts), Frenchtown 5 (O’rion Murphy); Fouls — Columbia Falls 9, Frenchtown 10; Cards — Columbia Falls, 1 yellow.