If the old saying is true, “Defense wins championship,” then the Washington Hatchet soccer team has good things in store for them this season.
The Hatchets picked up its fifth straight win and fifth straight game without giving up a goal, in a 1-0 win over Evansville Reitz on Thursday at the Sports Complex.
The varsity-only game suffered a hiccup before it even started after a Reitz bus breakdown delayed the start for more than an hour. However, Washington was able to send a bus to pick the Reitz team up and get the game underway.
Although the Hatchets dominated the first half of play, it wasn’t until their third corner of the first half where WHS was able to find the back of the net.
With 6:50 left in the half, Brady Hill sent a corner kick to Grant Niehaus who headed it for the first goal. Just two minutes later, Brady almost connected with Jacob Davis, but the shot went wide. Hill also scored in the final minute of the half, but the goal was taken off the board on an offside call and sent the Hatchets into the half with a 1-0 lead.
“It was a really good game, and we needed that after Lincoln,” said WHS coach Evan Stoll. “The was a high-quality team. Their coach is new, and I was really impressed with them. They really reminded me a lot of ourselves. They did a great job of switching the ball across the field and looking to play in behind.”
The Panthers only had one real chance in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as they spent most of the game with its defense packed in.
Niehaus also had opportunity in front of the net with 25:00 left to play, but was unable to score.
Sophomore keeper Joah Horrall handled all of his chances he faced to record his fifth shutout of the season.
“Our defense did a great job tonight and we have to have that because we are going to play a lot of games like this,” said Stoll. “We did a good job of creating chance, but we are not finishing. That is something we need to focus on this week.
The Hatchets play Mount Vernon on Tuesday before facing Zionsville, Bloomington South and South Bend Adams in Hoosier Cup pool play at Karst Farm Park in Bloomington the following weekend.