They didn’t see this one coming. No one on Mullen’s side did.
And not that the Mustangs thought this would be a walk-over match … hardly.
It’s just that Green Mountain put forth a near-flawless effort and there was nothing Mullen could do about it. The Jefferson County Rams ended the Mustangs’ season 4-1 on Saturday with a thorough victory in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“Yes, we got outplayed … outcoached, I guess,” Mullen head coach Matthew Guglielmo said. “I’d have to watch the tape to give you the exacts.”
However, he knows he doesn’t have to: “(The Rams) won more (50-50 balls) than we did. When they had chances to score, they did. We didn’t have that many chances, we didn’t generate them, and when we did they didn’t go in. It’s not one of those games where you say, ‘Maybe it could have gone our way’ … no, they just beat us.”
A disappointed Mullen finished 13-3-1 and tied its season high of four goals allowed.
Green Mountain, now 12-5, scored in the 23rd minute to take a lead it never relinquished and put forth a defense the Mustangs couldn’t solve. The Rams excelled at protecting the front of the goal as Mullen got swarmed on all corner kicks and centering passes. Green Mountain was also adept at handling all Mustangs attacks.
The Rams bunched three goals to probably make it worse than the match really was, but then again they dominated.
“They played exceptionally well and they deserve to move on,” Guglielmo said, “and, unfortunately, we picked a day to not play well.”
The Rams will meet Evergreen in the quarterfinals, a rematch from April 16 in the Jeffco League, when the Cougars won 4-0.
For Mullen, leading scorer Kaylah Wanna converted on a penalty kick late. And that was it. This was a Mustangs team with high hopes, bolstered by 10 seniors, including welcoming back two academy players. Mullen was 4-2-1 in the 5A-based Centennial League and felt good about challenging in 4A.
“This is a team that could have played in the championship game, but you have to play all of the games,” Guglielmo said.
“It’s a shame. We had the potential to do some things.”
GREEN MOUNTAIN 4, MULLEN 1
Green Mountain 1 3 -- 4
Mullen 0 1 -- 1
Mullen goals – Kaylah Wanna.