2013 was business as usual for Washington Catholic as the Cardinals completed the regular season with an 11-5-1 record and a fourth straight Blue Chip conference championship. The Cardinals were upset in the first round of last year’s sectional at Northeast Dubois after an undefeated regular season. The Cardinals will match up with Shoals tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the semi-finals of the Northeast Dubois sectional.
“Right now I feel we’re playing some of our better soccer,” said Washington Catholic coach Wayne Neace. “I think we have a really good shot at the sectional this year.”
If the Cardinals want to win their second sectional in school history (2011) they will need a strong effort from their offense to get off to a good start against a Shoals team they beat in the early part of the season. The offense begins with junior Blaine Fuhs, who scored 39 goals after the graduation of Colton Reed, who scored 45 goals to lead the Cardinals to an undefeated 2012 regular season.
“We just have to find Blaine’s (Fuhs) feet,” Neace said. “He’s such a great player that he does everything else on his own.”
Neace said one of the most important aspect of the game the Cardinals need to focus on is the ends of both halves and making sure they finish strong so there isn’t an opportunity for Shoals to take hold of momentum. The defensive game plan will be paramount to success tonight.
“The defense has to be on their game,” Neace said. “They have to find their man early and shut down as many runs as possible.”
In the first season under coach Stacy Bryant, Washington has taken their place back atop of the Big 8 conference as they enter its sectional matchup Thursday evening against the host school, Castle at 5 p.m. CDT. The Hatchets finished the regular season with an 11-5-1 record and an undefeated run through the Big 8.