By Dennis Glade
WASHINGTON — The Washington girls soccer team needed a win after a disappointing loss Thursday night and they got just that — it just took a little while to get going.
Washington (10-4-1) defeated Evansville Harrison 2-0 Saturday afternoon at the Sports Complex.
Washington had its seven-game win streak snapped with a loss Thursday night at Evansville North 4-1, but Saturday afternoon they came out a little sluggish in the first half and the game was scoreless at halftime. Saturday's game was Washington fourth in the past seven games.
"We were tired," said Washington coach Stacy Bryant. "We put a lot of effort out in the Jasper game and Forest Park (Sept. 21) and we had to play Evansville North (Sept. 26) and then we only had one day before this game. Some of our key players have played a lot of minutes — everyone thinks young players don't get tired, but they do."
Washington got on the board with its first goal of the day in the 58th minute from senior Lupe Perez. Mikayla Richardson attempted a shot from the left of the goal, but her shot was deflected. Perez gained possession and fired a shot past Harrison goaltender Danielle Johnston to give the Hatchets a 1-0 lead.
"We have been working a lot with when you put a shot on goal to keep it down," Bryant said. "A weak ball going towards the goal is better than a strong ball going over the top of the goal. For the last two weeks we have focused a lot on that and Lupe (Perez) has scored two goals since then. She has told me that has she approached the ball on both of those shots she actually thought about it, and she's been one that has been sailing the ball over the goal. She said she's been running through those things in her head and it's nice as a coach to hear that and that's how she scored that goal."
14 minutes later, junior Shawna Webb fired a shot from the left of the goal that hit off the cross bar in the right corner and came down inside the goal to give Washington a 2-0 lead with 7:51 to play in regulation. There was some confusion at the time of the goal as to whether or not the ball came down in the goal, and junior Elaynna Brashear was right there to tap it in at the right corner.
"Shawna (Webb) had an exceptional game," Bryant said. "This is probably her best game of the season — good energy, some good touches, she battled for a ball on the header and she battled for that ball and got a foot on it and they called it a goal. One thing I liked hearing afterwords was Elayanna Brashear said she wasn't sure they counted it so she kicked it again, which I said is what you have to do until you hear somebody blow the whistle."
The Hatchets have just two home games left before their matchup with Castle — the host school of their sectional — Oct. 10. Princeton visits the Sports Complex Monday night and Bloomington South will be the Hatchets opponent Tuesday night for Senior Night.
"We have to still try to play smarter offensively," Bryant said. "We have to try to correct the mistakes we still make defensively. We play strong defensively, but we always have three or four plays that usually goes 80 yards, or the whole series we just don't play well. We have to try to correct that. Everyone has bumps and bruises and we have a game Monday, so once again we have just one day and a game on Tuesday. We just don't have very much rest at the end of this season. Try to play smarter offensively and correct the mistakes that we have on defense and just try to survive this gauntlet."