For the first 79 minutes of play Thursday evening, the Washington Catholic potent offensive attack was held in check, that was until senior Blaine Fuhs took over.
Fuhs scored two goals in the final minute to give Washington Catholic (6-5) a much needed 3-1 victory over visiting Sullivan (6-2-1) at Rees Field.
With the game tied at 1 at halftime, the Cardinals dominated possession in the second half, but couldn’t break through due to numerous offsides calls against Fuhs and his teammates.
“That was lack of knowledge by the referee — he didn’t know what offsides was,” said Washington Catholic coach Wayne Neace. “Blaine Fuhs plays for the state’s Olympic team, he knows offsides is and the referee was out of position.”
Fuhs finally broke through the Sullivan defense and put a shot past goaltender Ian Perkinson to give Washington Catholic a 2-1 lead with 52 seconds to play in regulation. Fuhs added a second goal 43 seconds later for good measure.
“He (Fuhs) is a creative player,” Neace said. “We got him the ball at the right spot where the referee didn’t call him offsides — any of those times he was called for offsides we probably we have gotten him the ball and he would have scored anyways.”
The Cardinals got on the scoreboard first on sophomore Zack Taylor’s ricochet goal only six minutes into play in the first half. Taylor sprinted toward the Sullivan goaltender — Perkinson, and an attempt to clear the ball deflected off Taylor’s chest and wound up in the back of the net to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
“Zack Taylor is Mr. Effort from us,” Neace said. “If we had 11 Zack Taylor’s we would never lose a game, because nobody hustles and plays as hard as Zack Taylor.”
In the 16th minute, Sullivan senior Luke McPhail scored to tie the game at 1-1. Neace said he was pleased with the effort that his defense displayed for all 80 minutes Thursday evening. The aggression from the Cardinals high octane offense has at times negatively impacted how the Cardinals were able to defend, but the Sullivan offense wasn’t able to do much of anything Thursday night, which allowed Washington Catholic to hang around and be in position to win the game in the final minute.
“The defense has been solid most of the year,” Neace said. “Our biggest problem has been in our midfield — we’re pushing sometimes too much on offense, we’re trying to push so hard and so fast on offense that our midfielders are coming up with them and we’re leaving our defense out to hang.”