BOONVILLE – The Washington boys’ soccer team needed to come out quick if they wanted to advance and they did just that.
The Hatchets (11-2-4) defeated Boonville (13-4-1), 1-0, in the first round of Sectional 31 at Boonville.
Washington wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a goal from Luke Raymond. Austin Ghirardelli attracted the Pioneers defense to the right of the goal allowing Raymond to get open to the left of the goalie box. Ghirardelli found Raymond and the sophomore midfielder put his shot in the back right corner of the goal past Dakota Eble giving the Hatchets a 1-0 lead only 2:55 into the first half.
The goal gave Washington the lead and momentum early, something that Washington coach Quintin Myers felt was paramount to a victory on a cold, rainy Monday.
“With these elements, we said if we can get a score early, one is all it takes,” Myers said.
Washington controlled possession much of the first half on a night that featured temperatures in the middle 50s along with rain and wind.
In the 26th minute, Pioneers’ senior forward Kyle Washburn had an opportunity for a shot 20 feet out to the left of the Hatchets goal. Washburn’s shot sailed wide right.
Four minutes later, off a corner kick by Washington, senior Cullen Arnold headed the ball to Raymond who put the ball in the goal on a ricochet off the top off the bottom of the cross bar.
For a moment it appeared Washington had taken complete control. Offside’s was called on Washington and the goal was disallowed.
Coming out after halftime, Boonville attacked for all 40 second-half minutes, but couldn’t push a goal past goalie Tyler Seibert. Myers thought the second half was a great test for his team as they continue in the tournament.
“I feel like we played the best we could considering the conditions.” Myers said.
“The wind and rain really affected us big time as well as it did them. The second half, I feel like we were completely outplayed, they beat us to every ball, but we hung on. The last time we were here at Boonville, and we won 1-0, I told the guys that’s all it’s going to take to survive.”
For 80 minutes, the Pioneers gave Washington their best shot and the last line of defense, goalie Tyler Seibert would not allow Boonville to beat him. The senior goalkeeper finished with four saves, but was tested throughout the match.
“He (Seibert) did a great job,” Myers said. “There are some plays when he comes out and we’re always nervous and talking to him about staying in his box, but their one main shot — he stuffed them. I’m proud of him.”
The Hatchets face Castle Wednesday, a team Washington also beat 1-0 during the regular season. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. EDT.
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