PALM HARBOR — Everything happened so fast, David Vasquez didn't have time to think.
First came the throw-in.
Then, the header.
The next thing Vasquez knew, he had flung his body into the air and made a shearing movement with his legs to execute a picture-perfect bicycle kick, which sent the ball right into the net for a goal.
"It was big," said Vasquez, a Mitchell senior. "It was a one-time shot."
Vasquez's score, one of his two Friday night, helped propel the Mustangs to an impressive 3-1 win over a sound Countryside squad in the final of the Hurricane Watch tournament at Palm Harbor University.
"This was a big game for us," Vasquez said.
Mitchell (17-1-3) might have won by a comfortable margin, but by no means was this an easy win. In fact, early on it was all Countryside (13-8-1) everywhere except on the scoreboard.
"In the first 10 minutes, we weren't that great," Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus said.
Yet despite playing solid on both ends to start the match, the Cougars couldn't find the net, though they came close. In the eighth minute, a Derya Ekren shot that would have put Countryside ahead 1-0 hit the left post.
Fourteen minutes later, Mitchell made the Cougars pay for their missed chances when Vasquez scored off a rebound for a 1-0 lead. Vasquez's second goal, which came in the 25th minute, put Mitchell ahead 2-0.
Mitchell's Robert Coleman added a penalty kick a short while later.
Countryside didn't get on the scoreboard until the 71st minute, when Max Seijo scored. But by then, the match was all but over.
"We had our chances in the first half," Cougars coach David Sica said. "They outworked us. Our guys haven't gotten the memo yet. You aren't going to beat good teams when you lack intensity."