The next Wildcats win will give them the most in school history, the latest mark to fall in a record-setting season.
Wesley Chapel (10-5-4, 4-1-3 in Class 4A, District 10), in its fourth season, won a school-record 10 and their first playoff game last season. The 10th win this season, 3-2 Friday at district rival Hudson, gave the Wildcats sole possession of second place in the 4A-10 race behind Ridgewood (15-1-3, 6-1-1).
"It's just another goal for the kids to shoot for," Wesley Chapel coach Brian Dorkowski said of an 11th victory, which could come Thursday at Gulf. "We're looking to keep second place for districts."
Gabe Montelongo's hat trick against Hudson extended the senior midfielder's school-record goal streak to 24. That gave Montelongo eight goals in one week and 54 points this season, both school records.
Another record fell last week with junior midfielder Bryan Sumner surpassing the assist mark set last season by Jose Arroyo. Sumner has 13, three more than Arroyo's 2002-2003 mark.
Freshman goalkeeper Jon Heiser also had a couple of firsts in the Hudson game. He got his first win in his first start, and with starter Scott St. George likely to miss another week to heal from a shoulder injury, Dorkowski plans to keep Heiser between the pipes.
A win and a tie against Hudson, Dorkowski hopes, will not lead to overconfidence. He warned his players that they are likely to meet Hudson again, either in the district tournament or regionals.
NOT ALONE: Mitchell also is in the midst of a record-setting season that includes eight wins and a single-season mark of 24 goals by Ryan Villiard.
The Mustangs (8-1-5, 1-0-3 in 5A-5) topped last year's then-record six wins and are assured of their first winning season.
In the past three games, Mitchell has outscored the opposition 13-3 (4-1 against Wesley Chapel, 5-1 against River Ridge and 4-1 against Hudson).
"We're playing good at the right time," Mitchell coach Pio Rizzo said. "Lately, we're putting our chances away."
Though Rizzo is quick to praise Villiard, whose 54 points (on 24 goals and six assists) also set a new standard, the senior forward is not shouldering all of the offensive load. Andrew Dematos has three of his eight goals in the past two games and Glenn Josephik has scored twice in that span.
"We're spreading the goals around a little bit," Rizzo said. "That's what we're going to need, because (opposing teams in the postseason) are going to key on Villiard."
The defense, which includes Mike Alves, Mike McDevitt, Steve Frantz and Chad Villiard, Ryan's brother, in front of keeper Matt Wegener, also has stepped up of late.
"If we give up one goal a game, I like our chances," Rizzo said.
ON THE CUSP: River Ridge is not threatening any team or individual records, but it is preparing for perhaps its most important game. The Royal Knights (7-6-1, 1-1-1 in 5A-5) are at district rival Land O'Lakes on Friday.
River Ridge won the first meeting, 1-0 at home on Chris Oliver's goal.
Though the Knights have a tie and a loss against district leader Mitchell, a win over Land O'Lakes would give River Ridge two district wins and lead to the No. 1 seed in the three-team district tourney. The accompanying bye for the district's top seed also means an automatic playoff berth.
"They have to lay it on the line," River Ridge coach Steve Doyle said of his players in the Land O'Lakes game on Friday. "Losing (5-1 against Mitchell), they felt bad. But they can redeem themselves Friday night."
_ STEVE LEE