The towns of Washington and Jasper have a rivalry which spans multiple sports, but Thursday night a boys’ soccer conference championship was at stake.
Jasper (13-1-1, 6-0 Big 8) defeated Washington (11-4-1, 5-1) to win the Big 8 conference championship at the Sports Complex.
Coming out of halftime tied at zero, Jasper came out with a fierce offensive attack, and that attack intensified when Washington suffered a crucial injury. Only four minutes into play in the second half, Hatchet junior defender Luke Raymond went down with an apparent left leg injury and he had to be carried off the field. Washington coach Quintin Myers said Raymond was headed to the hospital for an x-ray after the game to get more information on the extent of the injury.
“It’s going to bother the team when one of their brothers goes down, but they battled,” Myers said. “Logan (Ward) came in and we had to move Nicholas (White) to the back and that throws off our midfield, because Nicholas (White) is very aggressive in the midfield by winning balls and that hurt us. When you take your left back out and both goals came from the left side it affected us big time.”
Five minutes later Jasper senior Caleb Williams shot a cross towards the goal from the right corner and senior Nathan Helsley deflected the ball past Washington senior goaltender Brooks Brown for the first goal of the night.
“They got the ball in the corner and we didn’t clear the ball — Tony (Serrano) went slipped and went down, (Austin) Ghirardelli slid over but he didn’t get there in time and they sent a cross in,” Myers said. “They had three guys waiting on it. We would have liked Brooks (Brown) to come out and snag it in the air, but he felt more comfortable sitting on his line and waiting for the shot, and the it went off his (Helsley) chest and went straight in.”