WASHINGTON — After disappointing finishes to the 2012 season, both Washington and Washington Catholic are back on the pitch looking for a sectional championship.
Washington’s boys soccer program is the elite of Southwestern Indiana, but the Hatchets have hit a speed bump with a two-year sectional championship drought. After losing eight seniors to graduation from a team that fell to Castle 1-0 in the second round of the Boonville sectional. Washington coach Quintin Myers said the team lost some talented players, but the team has come into open fields and practice very hungry.
“Some guys are really stepping up in practice and getting after it,” Myers said. “The guys realize that the spots aren’t guaranteed and there are lots of spots to fight for.”
With so much talent missing from last year’s squad, Myers has seen senior Austin Ghirardelli step up voluntarily in the leadership department. Ghirardelli knows he has one last shot with the Hatchets and he’s made sure everyone else is doing their jobs.
“Austin Ghirardelli is doing a fine job,” Myers said. “He’s helping to guide the other guys. We haven’t announced our captains, but he’s acting as one right now. He’s getting the work rate up, and his work rate is high, so he’s getting the guys to stay with him. It’s nice that Austin (Ghirardelli) is stepping up this year and making it his team. He wants to win conference and the sectional.”
With the loss of so many experienced players, the Hatchets have been looking for others besides Ghirardelli to fill the void, and some of that support has come from an unlikely source. Senior Andy Garland has come on in open fields and practice to gain a starter spot for the Hatchets. Garland has been a standout on the basketball court, but is in his first year playing soccer.