LAND O’ LAKES — It was cold, the players were tired, but in the end, Mitchell proved why it has been so dominant this season.
The Mustangs stayed undefeated and moved to 17-0 with a 2-0 win against what had been the other undefeated team in Pasco County, Land O’ Lakes (18-1). And on a chilly, blustery Friday evening at John Benedetto Stadium, Mitchell also took home the Sunshine Athletic Conference title.
“You know, over the course of the season, you have to manage the team, even if a player doesn’t want to sit down after just 20 minutes,” Mustangs coach Karl Kukec said. “But when you have depth like we do, not only is it easier, you have to do it.”
Mitchell scored both goals in the first half, when Baylor Cherry put away an Amanda Hayes assist in the seventh minute and Hayes scored herself on a cross from Sabrina Wagner in the 23rd minute.
The Mustangs also showed while they have outscored opponents 94-4, limiting the Gators’ chances from the likes of Victoria Cannatta (26 goals) Samantha Epifanio (15) and Makenzie Fish (10).
Mitchell goalkeeper Erica Disbrow posted her 12th shutout this season
The Mustangs were also playing without top player Taylor Meek, who is likely out for the rest of the season after injuring her knee in a tournament at Disney. At that tournament, three of Mitchell’s players, including Wagner, played in the U-15 championship earlier Friday.
“Every season is a long season when you have injuries and club players like we do,” Kukec said. “We have the district tournament in just a couple of weeks and we have to manage our last three games and get them some rest and get healthy for that. It’s tough to always manage through that each season.”