Sometimes fate runs smack into you.
That's how Bella Vista defender Tex Gossett felt tonight at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II boys soccer championship game at Cosumnes Oaks High School.
The surprised-as-anyone senior headed in a goal with under a minute to play in regulation to tie nationally ranked Granite Bay 1-1, then made the Broncos' first kick in the Broncos' eventual 4-1 penalty kick upset of the Grizzlies for the title.
It was a shocking stunner coming one year after Granite Bay belted the Broncos 4-0 in the finals and in a game in which the Grizzlies (20-4-3) otherwise appeared in cruise control after Andrew Stabbert's goal in the 32nd minute from an assist by Tanner Thompson.
"I got lucky - I was in the right spot - thanks to a great throw-in by Tyler Miguel," Gossett said. "I didn't think I was going to get it because it either flicked off one of their defenders or one of our players. I really couldn't tell. I just hit it with my head. I didn't even see it because I got tackled."
Gossett, Justin Childs, Galen Herron and Devin Farnan made penalty kicks for Bella Vista (18-3-1) while Granite Bay hit the post on one and hit the cross bar on another after the two teams played two scoreless 10-minute overtimes.
Bella Vista coach Zach Contreras still thought his team had a chance even as the minutes ticked down in regulation.
"This team has been resilient all year long, so I had a gut feeling they were going to do something dramatic," Contreras said.
They lost three of their top players midway in the season when an elite club team forced them to choose between club and high school.
Although the Broncos had won the Capital Valley Conference title, they needed last-minute wins over Rio Linda and Oakmont to nose out Christian Brothers for first place.
"They stepped up," Contreras said. "It's been the personality of this team to bounce back and not to quit."
He credited Gossett, Preston Davis and Mark Caliguire for anchoring the Broncos' back line; the interplay between midfielders Matt Waldron and Justin Childs; and the tremendous throw-in prowess of Miguel.
"Tyler has been the man of the playoffs," Contreras said. "He had a goal in our other playoff games, and the big throw for our goal here."
Gossett, who ran cross country last season instead of playing soccer for Bella Vista, said it was a great way for the five seniors to end their careers.
"It's great for us to finish with a win in our last high school game," Gossett said.
For Contreras it was his second section title in four years. The Broncos won in D-III in 2008.