MELBOURNE — If Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus could imagine a team that was essentially kryptonite to this year's Mustangs, it would look a lot like the one fielded by Melbourne High.
The Bulldogs' size and physicality proved too much Friday night as Melbourne sent Mitchell packing with a 3-0 Class 4A Region 2 final victory.
“If I had to pick a team that can check off everything that is a worst matchup for us, this is it,” Ubillus said. “They were great in the air and that's probably our weakest point. That was a huge difference, but obviously they're a good team. They knew how to take us out of our game.”
Melbourne (22-1-1) jumped on Mitchell early when Reid Ferguson headed in an assist from Micah Smoak during the 5th minute. The Mustangs continued to struggle winning 50-50 balls and the Bulldogs just kept on applying near-constant pressure.
“We were lucky to be down 1-0 at halftime,” Ubillus said of Mitchell's ability to keep Melbourne from running away. “We were a little shell-shocked but we played a lot better in the second half. We just ran up against a team that was bigger, stronger, faster.”
Owen Tworkowski put Melbourne up 2-0 four minutes into the second half and Jamie Carlson iced the game in the 76th.
Sustaining attacks was a struggle for Mitchell all night and a number of second-half set piece opportunities failed to produce a shot on goal. The Mustangs' best second-half look came in the 57th on Alex Hernandez's straight-on free kick from 20 yards out, but Melbourne's wall stuffed the shot.
The loss denied Mitchell a berth in its second state semifinal appearance. The Mustangs won the Class 4A championship in 2010.
“Our guys had a great year; the second-best year we've ever had here,” Ubillus said. “You don't just win 22 games. It was a fantastic year and I'm proud of them.”
MIT – 0 - 0 --- 0
MEL – 1 - 2 --- 3
5' – Reid Ferguson – Goal (Assist: Micah Smoak)
44' – Owen Tworkowski – Goal (Assist: Micah Smoak)
76' – Jamie Carlson – Goal (Assist: Spencer Tworkowski)