LAND O’LAKES — The tired, injury-depleted version of Mitchell is still without peer in Pasco County girls soccer.
Friday, it won a clash of undefeated, untied squads 2-0 over Land O’Lakes as Amanda Hayes had a goal and an assist.
Freshmen Sabrina Wagner and Noah Stokes also were big factors in their second game of the day. They and Kacie Patterson, who sat out with an injury, barely made it to Land O’Lakes in time after their club team, Tampa Bay United, won a tournament at Disney.
“We got stuck in bad traffic on 75, and I got worried,” Stokes said. “But we didn’t want to miss this game.”
Land O’Lakes (18-1) had a handful of chances, but Mitchell (17-0) controlled possession. Mustangs goalie Erica Disbrow withstood an early scare, when Raquel Villarreal sent Victoria Cannata in alone, by coming out to deflect the ball away. Outside of that, Disbrow had to make only one other save, the handful of potential threats mostly headed off by the duo of Gina Davis and Antonia Lowden.
“Those two are so solid for us in the back,” Mitchell coach Karl Kukec said. “You keep possession like we did, you control the game.”
Mitchell took control on the scoreboard just seven minutes in. Amanda Hayes took a flier, sending a ball in on goal from about 50 yards, and two Gators failed to clear it. Baylor Cherry took advantage by scoring into an empty net.
The early lead was big because it allowed Mitchell’s forwards to not press as much, good news for Wagner and Stokes.
“I was very tired,” Wager said. “I just tried to not do what my body wouldn’t let me do.”
So she picked her spots to turn on the jets, one giving Mitchell a 2-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Stokes sent a long ball down the right sideline that looked to be headed out of bounds. But Wagner sprinted then breezed past a defender to cross to Hayes for the two-goal cushion.
Land O’Lakes had a brief moment of hope with 25 minutes left as Mitchell committed a foul just outside the penalty box.
But Cannata sent the free kick well wide.
Mitchell dressed only 14 players and probably will be without 18-goal scorer Taylor Meek for the rest of the season. She hurt her knee during a club game this week.
Though it was their first loss of the season, the Gators were hardly dejected afterwards.
“We didn’t even talk about the record,” coach Vicky King said. “This was good competition, and we will learn from it.”