The Serra boys’ soccer team allowed two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half, putting its West Catholic Athletic League semifinal match out of reach as Mitty won 3-0 on Tuesday.
“I thought this was a heck of a game until they got that second goal,” Serra coach Jeff Panos said. “I think things quickly fell apart. The game was over in the 60th minute. We lost our composure defensively two minutes before the half and I think we never recovered from that.”
Serra (14-3-4), which finished second in the WCAL during the regular season, had beaten Mitty twice during league play, but was unable to win a third.
“It’s extremely tough,” Panos said of attempting to beat Mitty a third time.
The Padres had a couple of near-misses in the first half, with their best shot coming in the 21st minute when Matt Pastore’s shot went just over the crossbar.
“We had a couple of opportunities I thought early in the first half and those are big momentum changers if you don’t take advantage and you end up like this,” Panos said.
Mitty (14-6-2) stuck first in the 38th minute on a goal by Kyle Cook on a give-and-go play just outside of the box, putting the Monarchs up 1-0.
“They got that goal right before half,” Panos said. “I think that gave them confidence.”
The Monarchs came out of the break on fire and scored twice in less than two minutes. Connor Kurze scored one-on-one from the left side in the 47th minute, followed by a header in the 48th minute by Brian Babcock.
“Getting your butt kicked like this is going to be great to refocus at practice,” Panos said. “It’s tough to practice this time of year because we’ve been playing so much. I think we’ll give them a day or two off and then we’ll reset.”
The Padres’ league season may be over, but they now wait to hear where they will be placed for the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Serra lost in the CCS Division I quarterfinals last season after beating Woodside in the first round.
This time around, Panos is fully expecting to earn a first-round bye, which means the Padres would not play again until Feb. 25.
“I think all those guys that are hurt, [it will] give them a chance to heal up,” Panos said.