The ending was punishing, like the punch from a heavyweight.
Countryside players sat dazed and confused around Cougars coach Rob Saltz, trying to make sense of the final flurry in a 2-1 overtime loss to Mitchell.
Mustangs sophomore Marisa Russo scored both Mitchell goals, including the winner less than two minutes into overtime. She took a pass from senior Morgan Shellenberger, spun and fired to send Mitchell to its second region final.
"You never know when it's the golden goal what's going to happen," Saltz said. "Unfortunately, we were just on the losing end this time."
The teams had split a pair of meetings this season, each decision ending 1-0. But Mitchell had not lost a game since falling to Countryside on Nov. 27, allowing just six goals since.
Countryside got off to a fast start Tuesday, scoring less than two minutes in on a sharp through pass from Tanya Bawkins to fellow freshman Michelle Primiani, who beat a pair of defenders for a 1-0 lead.
Russo answered in the 16th minute on a shot from roughly 30 yards to tie the game at 1.