Laurel needed to beat Billings Central on Saturday afternoon at Amend Park to clinch the Eastern A conference title. Not only did the Locomotives need to win, they needed to win by at least two.
And they were seconds away. With a 3-1 lead in the final minute, Central's Kendal Wahl scored on a choatic play in front of the net to pull Central within 3-2 and give the Rams the conference crown despite the defeat.
Early on it looked like Laurel was in control. The state's top scorer Mya Maack netted two first-half goals in the opening 16 minutes to give the Locos a 2-0. Rams top scorer Abby Derbyshire answered in the closing minutes of the first half to pull Central within 2-1.
Laurel grabbed a third goal late in the second half when Alyse Aby slipped one by the Central keeper, appearing to clinch a conference title until Wahl's stunning last-minute score.
Central will be the Eastern A's top seed for the State A soccer playoffs, while Laurel will play a play-in game on Tuesday.
Central's boys played earlier in the day and defeated Laurel 1-0 thanks to a Luke Pankratz goal in the 65th minute. Central will also play a play-in game on Tuesday.