The Warriors did win the Class AAA crown in 2002, but that was the furthest thing from their minds last night, as several players tried to fight back tears.
"I don't know what to tell you," said moist-eyed Henderson forward Maurice Baptiste. "We tried to play our hearts out. And it just wasn't enough this year."
Just reaching a fourth consecutive state final was an accomplishment in itself. Several key contributors off a squad that finished 20-4-1 and was recognized as The Inquirer's top Southeastern Pennsylvania Class AAA team last year had graduated.
The Warriors, however, were not in the mood to talk about overachieving.
"We wanted to win it so badly for these guys up here," senior goalkeeper Mike Bernacki said, pointing to the Henderson fans. ". . . This is the most disappointing thing I ever had to go through."
If not for Kemal Nuspahic's goal, Bernacki and Co. may have given the Warriors' fans the state title they hoped for. Instead, the junior forward clinched it for Warwick (20-5-2) after gaining possession of the ball 15 yards away from the net on a rebound.
Bernacki got a hand on Nuspahic's shot, but it still found its way into the goal 3 minutes, 38 seconds into the match.
"We had some good pressure in the second half," said Henderson coach Mike Lorback, whose team outshot Warwick, 4-3.
"We just couldn't put it away."
Contact suburban staff writer Keith Pompey at 856-779-2-3826 or email@example.com.