Mustangs fall but keep heads held high

Mitchell loses 1-0 to top-ranked Countryside.

By ERIC MUSKATEVC Times Correspondent
Published January 25, 2007

NEW PORT RICHEY - Gracious in defeat, Oscar Ubillus said Countryside looked every bit the National Soccer Coach's Association of America's top-ranked team. Actually, he was being very gracious.

In fact, Mitchell had the Cougars on the run for much of the game before falling 1-0 in a semifinal at Mitchell.

"We have nothing to hang our heads about," Ubillus said. "They looked like a great team, and they are. We played good enough to be in it."

Matt O'Shaughnessy, Zach Wilkinson and Daniel Butensky held off an early offensive attack, denying three consecutive shots with their feet in help of Mustangs goalie Robbie Wallace, who made an amazing save on a one-on-one.

But at the 20-minute mark, the Cougars' Juan Rivas made a move down the sideline and laced a cross pass to the feet of Jake Gerlach, who scored from 7 yards for the only goal. Wallace was otherwise magnificent in goal.

Mitchell came out of intermission running, attacking and keeping possession in the Cougars' end better than in the first half and earned three chances in front of the net but couldn't score. O'Shaughnessy moved up the field towards the end of the game, when the Mustangs (14-7-3) even had a free kick from 30 yards with under two minutes remaining. Jeff Attinella (4-saves) was there each time for Countryside (25-0-1).

"Matt's one of the better players in the area, and when you have a chance to win against a team like them you need to take your chances," said Ubillus. "This is the toughest district in the state, easily. We at least had our chances."