Mitchell girls soccer opens Class AA playoffs with rematch at Pierre

Mitchell is seeded ninth and Pierre is eighth in the 16-team bracket. First kick is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the PILC Soccer Complex in Pierre.

Mitchell's Kenzi Kayl (10) battles for position to win the ball with Douglas' Olivia Hackett (1) during a Class AA varsity girls soccer game during the Kernel Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Joe Quintal Field.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — The Mitchell High School girls soccer team will face a familiar Eastern South Dakota Conference foe in the first round of the Class AA postseason, as the Kernels are on the road for a meeting with Pierre on Tuesday.

The Kernels narrowly missed out on hosting their first-round matchup, as Mitchell is seeded ninth and Pierre is eighth in the 16-team bracket. First kick is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at the PILC Soccer Complex in Pierre.

During the regular season, Mitchell went 7-6-0, while Pierre finished 8-4-1. In the schools' earlier meeting this season, also in Pierre, the Kernels surged ahead 2-0 before halftime, but the Governors rallied for a 4-3 win. That result is Mitchell's only road loss of the season, as the Kernels went 5-1-0 on the road, which was tied for the third-best mark in Class AA. On the other side, Pierre went 5-2-0 at home, the fifth-best record in Class AA.

Having scored a South Dakota-leading 21 goals last season, Mitchell's junior forward Mia Mullenmeister has recorded 20 goals and five assists so far this season, including a hat trick against Pierre on Sept. 1. Freshman Kenzi Kayl is also a double-digit goal scorer this season, netting 10 goals to go with six assists, which is tied for the team lead.

Pierre enters Tuesday undefeated (3-0-1) in its last four matches, while Mitchell faced a difficult schedule down the stretch and is 1-3 in its last four, with home losses to Class AA No. 3 Aberdeen Central and No. 5 Brandon Valley and Class A No. 1 West Central.


The winner of the Kernel-Governor matchup will play either No. 1 Harrisburg (12-1-1) or No. 16 Yankton (2-11-1) on Saturday, Oct. 8. The semifinals will be played Oct. 11 and the championship match will be Saturday, Oct. 15 at Tea Area High School.

Behind Harrisburg, Sioux Falls Lincoln (9-1-2), Aberdeen Central (10-1-1) and Sioux Falls Roosevelt (7-2-3) round out the top four seeds in the girls tournament.

The Mitchell boys soccer team, which concluded its season Thursday with a 0-0 draw with James Valley Christian, did not qualify for the 16-team postseason in Class AA. The Kernels finished the year 1-10-2 and in 17th position, just outside the playoff picture.

The top four seeds in the boys tournament, in order, are Huron (9-1-3), O'Gorman (10-2-1), Sioux Falls Jefferson (8-3-1) and Sioux Falls Lincoln (9-2-1).

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