When the game ended, most of the players didn't move from where they were standing.

Some dropped to their knees, some were face down. Some stood with their hands on their hips, not able to hide the overwhelming combination of frustration and exhaustion.

The Washington Township boys' soccer team fell in Tuesday night's Group 4 state semifinals, 1-0, against Princeton at Rowan University.

The loss was particularly cruel because of how well the Minutemen had played.

They were organized, they were strong. When they fell behind 1-0 in the second half, they pushed the ball with force.

"But at the end of the day," coach Shane Snyder said. "They put one in the back of the net, and we didn't."

This marks the second straight year the Minutemen fell in heartbreaking fashion in the state semifinals.

Last year they lost in penalty kicks to Hunterdon Central, the team that went on to win the state crown.

Tuesday night was also the final chapter of a remarkable run for the team's nine seniors. They end their careers with four South Jersey championships, two state championships and two Coaches Tournament championships, including this year's, marking one of the best stretches by any team in area history.

"I was hoping for a better outcome today, but we played our hardest and we left everything on the field," said senior defender Will McCusker. "We had a great history. We just wanted to live up to the expectations and I feel like we exceeded those expectations.

"We had a really great season — a 20-plus-win season. Everyone really stepped up. We just wanted to keep the ball rolling with how successful this program has been."

The game's only goal, by Atticus Lynch, came with 27:34 left in the game. It was rebound after a scramble in the box — exactly how Snyder had predicted the game would go when he addressed his team at halftime.

"Both teams weren't pushing a lot of numbers forward, so you weren't going to get a break away, you weren't going to get a clear-cut golden chance," Snyder said.

Of course, after the goal, Washington Township (21-3-1) opened the tempo up and pummeled Princeton (17-5-1) with chances over the game's final minutes, including four corner kicks after the goal.

It only added to that final sense of frustration, a feeling of doing so much right, but still coming away empty-handed.

"I think it was an even match, we were just clashing at it each other," McCusker said. "It was just going to come down to whoever got that one scrappy goal. … Unfortunately it wasn't us today."

Washington Township 0 0—0
Princeton 0 1—0
Goal: Atticus Lynch.
Saves: P- Patrick Jacobs 7; WT—Mike Pagano 2.