Hosting the first playoff encounter in program history, the Shield understood that they had missed a golden opportunity of moving on, possibly a chance to qualify for the coveted OCAA final four.
Despite playing with a man-advantage for the final 20 minutes of regulation time as well as both 15-minute overtime sessions, the Shield remained locked in a scoreless draw with the visiting Durham Lords.
When their under-manned opponents outscored Cambrian 3-2 in the shootout, there would be only the memory of countless close chances to console the locals on a day when Mother Nature provided as challenging an environment as many of these soccer players would ever see.
A steady rain fall was made worse as colds winds swirled throughout the second half, with the rain picking up to a downpour at various latter stages of the game. Little surprise then that play was somewhat sloppy, as both teams struggled with their footing.
But a second yellow card issued to Durham midfielder Daniel Sukovski midway through the second half, carrying an automatic game ejection, seemed to open the door for the Cambrian lads.
Despite pressing with the wind at their backs for the ensuing 40 minutes or so, rewarded with at least a half dozen corner kicks along the way, the Shield could not score the goal that would advance them to within one step of the final four.
With manpower equalized for the shootout, the Lords took full advantage. Marco Armiento (Cambrian) and Duncan Mitchell (Durham) opened the drama with goals, with the keepers turning aside Stephane Legrand (Cambrian) and Adam Farr (Durham) on the second attempts.
Markers from both Luis Radford-Paz (Cambrian) and Bartosz Kalisz (Durham) left the shootout tied at two before a miss from Jason Taylor gave an edge to the visitors, with Lee Armstrong converting, just barely, as the ball snuck through the outstretched hands of Cambrian netminder Zachary Loucks.
Needing a goal to force a fifth and final Durham attempt, Cambrian's Nathan Briglio drilled a shot high, above the cross-bar.
The Lords moved on, facing the St. Clair Saints in Windsor this coming Saturday.