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TAMPA - Mitchell outlasted host Sickles, winning 3-2 on penalty kicks to break a 1-1 tie, putting the Mustangs in the region final for the first time.
"Intense," said Mitchell captain and goalkeeper Lauren Hudson, who blocked Sickles' last penalty kick. "It's such a great feeling to finish like that. I'm still pretty pumped."
Freshman Natasha Obara made the game-winning penalty kick to set up Hudson's block of Sickles junior Sarah Tsang's attempt. The teams looked exhausted after two scoreless overtime periods. Eleven of the 16 penalty kicks were not converted.
Mitchell may have been fortunate to extend the game. The Mustangs had only two shots on goal for the game compared to the Gryphons' seven. Also, Sickles had a goal in the final two minutes of regulation called back when a line judge ruled the cross that set up the play was out of bounds.
Sickles (20-2) got on the board first in the seventh minute on a goal by Marisa Bartelt. With space inside the penalty box to the right of the goal, the freshman shot to the far post past Hudson.
The Mustangs (23-3-1) leveled the match when Lea Weber found the net in the 32nd minute. The freshman collected a deflection in the penalty area and lifted a shot over Sickles goalkeeper Melanie Raimo.
"I'm not disappointed," Sickles coach George Arroyo said. "The girls have done a tremendous job. We only lost one game prior to this. Mitchell has a great team."
Mitchell midfielder Erin Fogarty suffered what appeared to be a neck injury in the first half when she and Sickles defender Katherine Warren collided. Fogarty was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital. Mitchell coaches had no information on the extent of the injury after the game.