TRINITY — For a district filled with competitive teams, Mitchell has made taking the top seed in 4A-8 look easy. The Mustangs improved to 13-0 Friday, clinching the No. 1 spot for the district tournament with a 3-0 win over Gaither.
How comfortable was the victory? Mitchell coach Karl Kukec rested his entire forward line for 25 minutes — in a 2-0 game.
“I don’t care that we score 100 goals, I just care that we control the game,” Kukec said. Mitchell did, outshooting the Cowboys 21-3.
Gaither never had possession of the ball inside the Mitchell penalty box, all three shots were from long distance, and the Cowboys had no corner kicks.
Mitchell freshman Sabrina Wagner scored her 18th this season, slipping behind the defense unmarked in the 12th minute. Taylor Meek assisted, and the connection was reversed five minutes later with Meek cutting the ball back after a Wagner cross from the left side.
Meek, again on a Wagner assist, closed the scoring with 10 minutes left.
Kukec sat Meek, Wagner and right wing Noah Stokes out of intermission and they didn’t come in until 15 minutes were left.
Additionally Mitchell was without two of its senior captains, Danielle Gottwick and Gina Davis, both playing in a club tournament out of state.
“We have a deep bench, and I need to know what I have if anybody gets hurt,” Kukec said. He was also looking down the line. In early January Mitchell will likely be without a bulk of its starters when it plays Land O’Lakes in a likely battle of unbeatens.
The approach was a little tough on Meek, a former Cowboy.
“We have a lot good players and I’m fine with giving them time, but yes, I was glad to get back in. It was a big game for me,” she said.
Meek has 17 goals. Amanda Hayes nearly scored twice in the late stages with one long blast hitting the crossbar square.