TRINITY — Mitchell has been here before, so its players know exactly what to do and exactly how high to set their goals.
Mitchell stayed undefeated by downing county rival Wiregrass Ranch 4-0 and will face Sickles, a 4-1 winner against Freedom, in tonight’s Class 4A-District 8 final.
The Mustangs (21-0) were led by freshman Sabrina Wagner, who had two goals to give her 36 on the season, and also got goals from Noah Stokes and Balea Schumacher. UConn commitment Danielle Gottwik, who assisted on three of the goals, led a midfield and defense that kept the Bulls (14-6-2) threat-free and allowed just one shot.
“We have a lot of seniors on this team, which means this is their last chance,” Wagner said. “So us freshmen and sophomores are really stepping up to help them get as far as we can, but I think we can get to the state final.”
Mitchell, which struggled to a 2-1 win against Wiregrass Ranch in the regular season because FAU commitment Gina Davis and Gottwik did not play, was a state semifinalist last season.
“I also think we have better team chemistry than last year,” Gottwik added. “We’ve been together longer now, and we’ve really worked hard this whole year and dealt with everything that has come our way.”
Goalkeeper Erica Disbrow picked up her 15th shutout in the win.
In the earlier semifinal, the Patriots (12-4-3) jumped out to a quick lead in the third minute thanks to a goal by Emily Dabrowski, but then the Gryphons (10-4-1) scored four goals, including two on penalty kicks by Brianna Hamson.
Christina Clements and Stephanie Linton also scored for Sickles.
“I think we did a better job of defending their game, which is a lot of through and long balls,” Gryphons coach George Arroyo said, referencing a loss to Freedom in the regular season. “I told them, push up more and that defense worked a lot better at stopping what they do best.”
Plant sneaks past Steinbrenner in 5A-7
PALM HARBOR — It seemed inevitable that Plant and Steinbrenner would be heading into overtime as it neared the final five minutes of the Class 5A-District 7 semifinal.
The Panthers would make sure overtime and penalty kicks would not be needed, as midfielder Nastasia Asgedom scored the go-ahead goal in a 3-2 victory. Plant (12-3-2) advanced to tonight’s district championship game against Palm Harbor University (9-1-3), which defeated East Lake (12-6-1) 3-0 in the later semifinal Thursday night.
“I’m missing three starters, so that kind of hurts,” Plant coach Pamela Smith said. “But they got back into it, and my seniors played harder and we were able to come out on top.”
After Asgedom scored early in the match, Plant sophomore forward Rebekah McFadden scored in the 21st minute to increase the Panthers’ advantage to 2-0.
Steinbrenner (12-4) got on the board in the 39th minute on a rebound shot by Jessica Taylor.
The Warriors scored again in the 57th minute to tie it at 2, but Asgedom’s timely goal with just under 6 minutes to go sealed the Panthers’ ticket to competing for another district championship.