HOLIDAY — Both Mitchell and Melbourne entered their Class 4A region final Saturday without a loss in regular time this season, and both left that way. But only one team is moving on.
Mitchell fell 5-4 in penalty kicks after going scoreless in both halves and two 10-minute overtimes.
“Once you get to the top, every game is decided by one goal,” said Mitchell coach Karl Kukec, whose team entered 24-0 and faced a 17-0 team.
“We had our chances, and it was very close a couple of times,” Kukec said.
Both teams scrambled back and forth across the field throughout the game, but the defenders slowed the ball by the time it got near the keepers.
The Bulldogs’ first chance to score was a shot by Keira McCarthy, but Mitchell keeper Erica Disbrow leaped to catch it. She finished with 13 saves.
In the second half, both teams had several opportunities to score, and even a few shots landed in the net, but they were disallowed by offsides calls.
Amanda Hayes had a chance in the first few minutes of the second half, but Melbourne keeper Riley Greer caught the ball.
With less than a minute left, Melbourne’s Olivia DeJong sent a kick on net but Disbrow caught it against her chest, sending the match to overtime.
Just 30 seconds into the first 10-minute extra period, Mitchell’s Sabrina Wagner sent a shot that barely went wide.
Mitchell was the aggressor in the first overtime, and Melbourne flipped the tables in the second.
With less than a minute in the second overtime, Melbourne’s Izzy Loyd drove into the goal area and slammed into Disbrow, but the ball never made it in.
Melbourne converted all its kicks while one Mitchell shooter was denied.
“I’m proud of them,” Kukec said. “They played basically a perfect season. They never lost a game in regular time.”