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Mitchell freshman comes up big

Lauren Schenk scores the game's only goal in the Mustangs' first win over Land O'Lakes.

By STEVE LEE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2003

LAND O'LAKES -- Mitchell forward Lauren Schenk has made quite an impression as a freshman, scoring more goals than anyone in Pasco County other than Land O'Lakes' Stacy Bishop.

None of Schenk's 34 tallies, however, have been as monumental as Friday's 15-footer against Land O'Lakes. That shot was the lone goal in Mitchell's 1-0 win.

That goal, which came off a feed from Kate Slaughter and beat Shannon Aitken to the lower left corner in the 70th minute, snapped the Gators' nine-game winning streak and was the first win over Land O'Lakes in Mitchell's three-year history. It also avenged a 1-0 loss to the Gators earlier this season.

"I think it's a big win for us, especially right before districts and the fact that Land O'Lakes is such a great team," Mitchell coach Karl Kukec said. "This is a team you measure up against. To beat them on their home ground has a tremendous impact."

Bishop, the county's all-time goal-scoring leader who has 45 this season, nearly tied it in the final minute, but her 25-foot shot bounced off the crossbar.

"I was thinking, 'Oh my God. We've got this far. We're not losing this right now,"' Mitchell goalkeeper Lauren Hudson said.

Hudson, who kept the game scoreless in the first half by stopping Casie Poyssick's penalty kick, earned her eighth shutout by making eight saves. Hudson lunged to her left to catch the ball that Poyssick aimed for the right corner on the penalty kick, which came after Bishop was pulled down in the penalty box.

Poyssick, issued a red card for profanity moments after missing that penalty kick, beat Hudson on a penalty kick with a similar shot last season.

"I knew she wouldn't change it up," Hudson said. "I thought it was fate from then on."

Bishop had several chances for Land O'Lakes and twice kicked the ball over the crossbar on nice runs in the second half.

Mitchell's defense, led by Kaitlin Lavin, Lindsey Sowder, Carly Mitchell and Amanda Graham, collapsed in the back to stymie Land O'Lakes' offense.

With Poyssick sidelined for the second half, Land O'Lakes coach Vicky King felt her team played better while shorthanded.

"We hustled more when we were short than when we were even up," King said.

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