By Bobby Ellis
---- — The Washington Hatchets defeated the Castle Knights 2-0 Thursday at the Gwaltney Sports Complex thanks to an early penalty kick in the first half and an own goal in the final minutes of the game. The Hatchets held off an aggressive Castle after taking the lead off a penalty kick by junior Luke Raymond off an assist from Carson Smith at the 13:25 mark. Afterward, Raymond and his teammates ran down the field in celebration, Raymond jumping in the air as he ran. For the rest of the first half the Hatchets fought to keep an aggressive Castle midfield from driving into Washington territory. “There’s no way we could sit back and try to defend that the rest of the game,” said coach Quintin Myers. “We ended up dropping a striker back to have a double attacking mid. They were very strong in the central midfield.” The remainder of the first half was a defensive struggle with both teams fighting hard to keep the ball out of the box. The Knights started the second half strong, continually keeping the ball in Washington’s backfield. Despite the aggressive attack, the Knights were only able to put one shot on goal, which was stopped by a diving save from senior goalkeeper Brooks Brown. “The first 15 minutes of every half is when a team is coming at you the most,” said Myers. “And they were 100 percent right at us. My back line, they were under the attack all night. They did a wonderful job of winning balls and keeping Castle out of the attacking end.” Just as Castle’s offense seemed to pick-up late in the second half, a botched corner kick gave the ball back to the Hatchets who ran the ball down the field and earned a corner kick of their own, which resulted in a Castle own goal at the 76:04 mark. The point was officially given to Washington junior Francisco Rodriquez. The goal seemed to drain the energy from Castle who was never able to make a decent run at the goal after the point. With the win, the Hatchets move to 9-1-1 for the season and are unbeaten at home for the season. The Hatchets will host Mt. Carmel at 7 p.m. Monday at the Gwaltney Sports Complex.