Pitch playoffs are set for Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
No. 27 Mullen will take on No. 6 Alameda International.

The second season on the pitch is here.

But when it will be able to occur remains anyone’s guess.

Mullen was part of the Class 4A boys soccer bracket released on Monday. The Mustangs are seeded No. 27 of 32 teams that qualified. They will meet Alameda International, the sixth seed, in the preliminaries.

However, with the second snowstorm of the season rolling through parts of Colorado on Sunday into Monday and more snow forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday among sub-freezing temperatures, most surfaces, with grass or artificial turf, will be iffy at best over the next couple of days.

For the Mustangs, they have two grass fields and may be limited to inside practice, particularly in the first part of the week.

“We’re hoping it gets cleared off and we can get out there,” Mullen head coach Matthew Guglielmo said. “If not, we’ll use the Green Room (an indoor practice facility in Mullen’s Spirit Center) or try to find an indoor space. Most people are doing the same thing. You have to be ready.”

As a result of conditions, preliminaries were being encouraged to be contested on Saturday, when warmer temperatures are expected to aid with the snow melt. But first-round games may be played before the weekend.

The Mustangs enter the playoffs 8-6-1 and are fresh from a 2-0 setback to Longmont’s Skyline, the No. 30 seed, at home the past Friday. They also lost 2-0 in their previous match to Aurora’s Overland.

With a 3-3-1 mark in the 5A-based Centennial League, Mullen tied for fourth with defending 5A state champion Arapahoe. The Mustangs also tied with Cherry Creek, keeping the Bruins from an unblemished loop record (6-0-1) among the eight teams.

As usual, Guglielmo hopes the matches against large-school programs will help make a difference in the 4A playoffs.

“We think we have a good matchup, we’ve seen them play and we don’t have to travel (of any significant distance),” the coach said the Jefferson County Pirates.

Alameda International is 14-1, has won its past five matches and its one setback was to Skyview by 2-1. The Prates also have an aggregate 62-10 scoring advantage on the season.

For the Mustangs, they have 44 goals to their opponents’ 27, and are led by sophomore Eli Kerschen, who has 13 goals; junior A.J. Gamueda (seven); senior Kyle Cooper (five); and junior Cole Dempsey, senior Luke Elges and freshman Ethan Lehman, who each have four.

Sophomore Ethan Heffern has made 15 starts and permitted 21 goals.

The match is scheduled to be played at Lakewood Memorial Field.

“It’s the second season, for sure,” Guglielmo said, “and it’s here.”

Here is a link to the bracket: