Despite the strong regular season, Washington could be without sophomore Jenna Johnson after she suffered a left knee injury when she bumped knees with fellow teammate Ashley Downs during the Hatchets’ loss in the regular season finale at Evansville North 4-1. Johnson hyperextended his knee and her status for Thursday night’s game against Castle is up in the air.
The Hatchets are 2-2 against their potential sectional opponents. Washington lost its only matchup against Castle 2-0 in the first game of the season, but the Hatchets defeated Boonville 2-1 and beat Jasper 1-0.
“To play Castle 2-0, who is undefeated is saying something,” Bryant said. “It was our first game and their third game. Overall I think we have done well even against the Evansville schools. Evansville North was closer than the score sounds. Against Castle we had some scoring chances in the second half that we should have finished and hopefully we have the opportunity to finish those opportunities.”
One bugaboo that has plauged the Hatchets this season has been starting slow and giving up early goals. Bryant knows his team can’t allow themselves to fall behind early against Castle, the team they lost to in the sectional championship last season.
“Every week we put things in trying to fix it,” Bryant said. It’s like a Nascar vehicle that comes into the pits and says it doesn’t handle well in turns or it is getting loose in the rear end and they adjust something and send it back out there. They are always trying to fix it and soccer is that way sometimes. We don’t have one single driver that can give us the feedback, I really haven’t been able to put a finger on why we come out slow. 65 percent of goals scored against us have been in the first 15 minutes of the game. We’ve tried longer warmups, harder warmups, I’ve tried everything but it seems to be a personality quirk of ours.”