ST. PETERSBURG — One problem continuously plagued Mitchell in its nondistrict tilt Monday at St. Petersburg Catholic.
The Mustangs struggled to clear the ball out of their own end, oftentimes giving the ball right back to the Barons.
For 24 minutes, Mitchell was able to hold its line and keep the Barons off the scoreboard.
Inevitably, though, the Mustangs succumbed to the pressure in a 4-1 loss.
"We had a couple lapses on defense and made some mistakes," Mitchell coach Karl Kukec said. "I think overall it's a good game to have played the week before districts start because we still have time to work on some things that didn't work."
Much of the game was played in the midfield with both teams knocking the ball around, searching for one well-placed pass that would spring an attacker free. The Barons (14-4-3) had just seven shots on goal; the Mustangs (15-3-2) only three. SPC, however, capitalized on its opportunities.
"Attacking-wise, we didn't get too much done," Kukec said.
Mitchell fell victim to an own goal as Michelle McNally's cross into the box for the Barons was kicked into goal by a Mustangs defender to put SPC ahead 1-0 at the break.
The Barons made it 2-0 10 minutes into the second half when Mustangs goalkeeper Sandra Jozic fouled SPC's Rebecca Borland in the box as both were chasing a long ball. Jozic was given a yellow card, and the Barons' Meggie Dougherty Howard converted the penalty kick against backup goalie Arielle Anahory.
The Barons scored twice more — McNally earned her second goal with 21 minutes left and Lauren Mueller followed seven minutes later with the Barons' fourth — to put the game out of reach.
Mitchell's Marisa Russo, who moved to forward for the final eight minutes, got a goal back for the Mustangs in the closing seconds.