The Colorado Springs Switchbacks lost an opportunity to salvage a point against LA Galaxy II in the final minutes of Friday night's game at Weidner Field.
It's possible they lost a lot more, too, considering the Switchbacks entered having played more games than any other team in the Western Conference.
"It's bad," Switchbacks coach Steve Trittschuh said. "I think a lot of our playoff chances went out the window. It's going to take a lot for us to get back into it."
In the 87th minute, Switchback defender Sean McFarlane redirected a cross past keeper Moise Pouaty and into his own net for the final goal of a 2-1 game.
"There were two points of it that didn't go right because we didn't get pressure to the ball. (Jack) McBean played it over, and Conner (Bevans) was out of position," Trittschuh said. "(McFarlane) is just trying to knock the ball out. If he lets the ball go through, they don't score."
McFarlane almost rectified his miscue with a strike from distance that bent just wide of frame in stoppage time.
"We can't afford that at this point in the season," Bevans said. "We gotta take pride in protecting the fortress, and we weren't able to get it done tonight."
Ariel Lassiter opened the scoring for LA in the 52nd minute when he received a pass in the box, cut inside and finished in the bottom right corner.
"The two goals we gave up were not good enough defensively," Trittschuh said.
The Switchbacks thought they had an equalizer in the 58th minute, but the referee's whistle sounded just before the strike.
With under 20 minutes to go, Trittschuh subbed off midfielder Eddy Prugh for forward Aaron King. King rewarded the decision by finishing off a pass from Kevaughn Frater in the 77th minute, a goal that looked to have the hosts on track to secure a point.
The Switchbacks felt like they should've earned three points after a fast start, winning four corner kicks in the first 20 minutes. Masta Kacher and Luke Vercollone each saw LA keeper Eric Lopez make reaction saves.
"We came out really strong in the first 15 to 20, but we let up, took our foot off the pedal, and we can't afford to do that, especially here at home," Bevans said.
Pouaty was hardly needed until late in the half when he denied McBean twice in the 30th minute. The teams ended the first half in a scoreless draw, a fact that hurt later.
"If you look at the first half, we had enough chances to take control of the game," Trittschuh said. "Especially at home, we just can't pass those up."