WESLEY CHAPEL — Mitchell got the team it expected, but the outcome was unexpected.
The Mustangs (22-3-1) faced 4A-8 district foe Wiregrass Ranch (20-2-2), the team that beat them for the district title, for the third time and soundly defeated the Bulls 5-1.
The Mustangs return to the region final for the first time since 2010 and will travel to Melbourne.
“We knew it would be a good game, a tough match, because we know what (Wiregrass) is capable of, but we were just saying we were surprised we won like that,” Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus said. “We did what we wanted and accomplished everything we wanted in every way.”
Mitchell jumped out to a 3-0 first-half lead thanks to a goal in the 15th minute by Jordan Koos, Mico Petrovich’s team-high 32nd goal in the 26th and C.J. Kirtley’s goal in the 33rd.
“We wanted to come out quick, because usually the team that steps up to the plate the quickest is the one that walks away the winner,” sophomore Brady Friedman said. “We did that, and it’s exactly what we needed.”
Wiregrass mounted a comeback attempt early in the second half, scoring a goal 50 seconds in after Matt Bradshaw took a pass from Andy Hippley. Just four minutes later, Kirtley would add his second goal and Matt Nelson would make it 5-1 in the 59th minute. Nick Bartkus had two assists in the game.
Mitchell, which is outscoring opponents 108-24, was the only team to defeat Wiregrass this season as the best season in Bulls history came to a close.
“I’m nothing but proud of these group of (eight) seniors that I had on the field as the game ended,” Bulls coach Dave Wilson said. “When you only lose to one team in a season, that’s a great year, and Mitchell has been the team to beat all season.”
5A-2: Newsome defense stout in 2-0 victory
ORLANDO — Newsome High’s Jake Van Der Luit scored his eighth goal of the tournament, and that was all that was needed as the Wolves upended Orlando Freedom 2-0 in the Class 5A region semifinals.
This game was one of defense, and Newsome’s Shea McCafferty, Connor Fitzgerald, Ricard Vazquez and Daniel Kapustiak gave Freedom (17-1-1) fits when the Patriots got close to the Wolves’ goal.
That defense was put to the test. Freedom outshot Newsome 17-13, and Wolves goalkeeper Nate Hodges had to make nine saves.
“The defense played really well. Freedom’s offense is relentless. Their attack is their greatest asset,” Newsome coach Allen Ware said.
The shutout by Hodges was his second in a row.
Jacob Chadwell scored the second goal after a Van Der Luit shot careened off the goal post. His shot bounced in front of the net, and Chadwell punched it in with 3:24 left in the game.
5A-2: Steinbrenner rallies but falls to East Lake in OT
TAMPA — Steinbrenner rallied in its previous two matches to come from behind and win in overtime. So after the Warriors trimmed a two-goal East Lake lead in the second half of the Class 5A region semifinals and later tied it to force overtime, it seemed Steinbrenner was again looking to come from behind for a win.
But this time, after losing twice to the Warriors this season including in overtime in January’s district final, East Lake found its way. Alejandro Gonzalez skidded a left-footed shot into the back of the net in overtime to give the Eagles a 4-3 win and advance his team to Friday’s region final at Newsome. It was the first goal of the season for Gonzalez.
Steinbrenner (17-2-2) fell behind 2-0 when Pierre Goris scored on a deflection off the crossbar in the 34th minute and Dino Papadopoulos headed in a ball early in the second half, but Steinbrenner clawed back as Blake Wilson converted a penalty kick in the 67th followed a little over a minute later by a Andres Saenz goal off a Zach Yarish cross.
The Eagles took another lead as Daniel Mahler sent a trickling shot across the line, only to have defender Noah Keene deflect a tying goal in with his left foot just before the end of regulation.
Gonzalez ended things a few minutes into overtime, and his team celebrated by lifting him onto their shoulders around the Eagles bench.
“We get down 2-0 and we start pressing and they start packing the box on us, and that helps us play a little harder — gets us going,” Warriors coach Chad Ebright said. “We came back late twice, almost three times, and unfortunately this is the only one that counts.”
3A-3: Jesuit routs Tarpon Springs 7-0
TAMPA — Jesuit dominated its second consecutive opponent in the state playoffs, trouncing Class 3A-District 10 champion Tarpon Springs 7-0 at Corral Stadium to advance to Friday’s regional final.
The Tigers (15-4-1) outshot the Spongers 32-0. The closest Tarpon Springs came to a shot attempt was a corner kick that sailed past the goal early in the first half. They have now outscored their first two state playoff opponents 15-0.
A Jacob Starnes throw-in that deflected off the goalkeeper’s hand gave Jesuit its first goal 13 minutes in. He went on to score a more conventional goal seven minutes later. Connar Lufkin had two goals, while Kurt Sierra, Dariyan Flores and Alejandro Cartaya each scored in the second half.
Tarpon Springs goalkeeper Vasili Makryllos made 11 saves while under a constant barrage of Jesuit shots.
3A-2: Pimm has four goals to lead Sunlake in 7-1 rout
INVERNESS — Remi Pimm scored four goals to lead Sunlake to a 7-1 region semifinal win against Citrus on Tuesday.
Pimm set a Pasco County scoring record with his 63rd goal of the season. He scored on a header in the game’s 68th minute. He also scored the game’s first goal on a header from Ryan Norberg 20 minutes into the game.
“It feels good,’’ Pimm, a sophomore, said of the record. “I work hard. I want to set records.”
The game was tied at 1 at halftime. Sunlake (28-1-1) had 21 shots on goal but many of them were off the crossbar or over the goal.
Cobi Shermo scored the first goal of the second half in the game’s 48th minute. Pimm assisted.
2A-3: Berkeley Prep pulls off 2-1 win vs. CCC
TAMPA — Berkeley Prep has qualified for Friday’s Class 2A-Region-3 final with a record of 9-10-5.
But rest assured, these Bucs can not only play with anybody, but it looks like they can beat anybody, especially when it matters most.
On Tuesday night, Berkeley won its fourth straight game, this time 2-1 against Clearwater Central Catholic in a Class 2A-Region-3 semifinal.
“It’s all coming together,” Berkeley Prep coach Tim Cooper said. “We’re getting hot at the right time.”
The Bucs’ heroes on Tuesday included: Quintin Kauchick, who scored in the eighth minute from short range; Kyle Dagostino, who headed in a ball over the leaping CCC keeper; and keeper Ben Milliken, who saved one shot after another in a furious comeback attempt by CCC in the final 10 minutes.
In one two-minute stretch, Milliken saved a shot from point-blank range, saved a shot on a penalty kick and then saved a shot off the rebound from the penalty kick.
CCC (9-9-4) scored in the last 3 seconds of the game as Alex Thompson rifled in a shot.
1A-2: Carrolwood Day wins in penalty kicks
CARROLLWOOD — Carrollwood Day School coach Jim Harte spent all of regulation and two overtimes running the sideline, shouting instructions until he was hoarse, working the refs and trying to will his team to victory.
The Class 1A region semifinals came down to penalty kicks. So Harte went over to the bench, sat by himself, and spread his arms like a man sitting in a hot tub.
“There was nothing more I can do,’’ Harte said. “It was up to them now.’’
The Patriots won the shootout, 4-2, over Shorecrest Prep, on a goal by John Frost that sent them into the regional finals for the first time in school history.
For the second straight playoff game, the Patriots had to battle from behind. After a scoreless first half, Shorecrest scored on a long kick from K.J. Nebvasil past the diving Corey Shamley, but Shamley hung tough from there. The Patriots had trouble mounting a charge until Frost scored on a header off a corner kick from Spencer Peek. Neither team threatened in regulation or overtime until the shootout.