ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg Catholic coach Gary Kolb had a spirited talk with his team Saturday after the Barons' 3-2 loss to Clearwater Central Catholic last week.
The result was a return to normalcy for the Barons on Monday.
The Barons boast 13 shutouts and narrowly missed their 14th in an impressive 4-1, nondistrict victory over Mitchell.
"We had a major discussion and practice on Saturday in the cold and everything and got some things ironed out," Kolb said. "The girls realized that they didn't perform well against CCC. Nothing against CCC, they played a great game, but we didn't play well."
SPC (14-4-2) shut down Mitchell's offensive attack, limiting the Mustangs (15-3-2) to only three shots on goal.
The Barons, meanwhile, took advantage of poor clearances by the Mustangs to keep pressure on Mitchell goalkeeper Sandra Jozic. They were rewarded when Michelle McNally's cross in the 24th minute was knocked into goal by a Mustangs defender, giving the Barons a 1-0 halftime advantage.
Ten minutes into the second half, SPC made it 2-0 when Rebecca Borland was fouled in the box by Jozic as both were racing toward a long pass. Jozic tripped Borland, resulting in a yellow card and penalty shot, which Meggie Dougherty Howard converted against backup goalie Arielle Anahory.
SPC put the game out of reach moments later. McNally tallied her second goal after ripping a ball from the edge of the box into the corner of the goal with 21 minutes remaining. Lauren Mueller scored seven minutes later to give the Barons a 4-0 lead.
About the only suspense left over the final quarter was whether the Barons would be able to keep the Mustangs off the scoreboard. The Barons looked to have their 14th shutout wrapped up until Marisa Russo scored in the closing seconds.
Even without the shutout, the Barons' defense performed spectacularly against the Mustangs.
"I thought our defense was just solid again," Kolb said. "That's our mark."