WASHINGTON — For 68 minutes, the Washington girls’ soccer team controlled all aspects of their contest with Jasper, but Maria Baer changed all that with one kick.
Jasper defeated the Hatchets 2-1 Tuesday evening at the sports complex to snap Washington’s five-game winning streak.
Jasper seemed to be in the right place at the right time twice and Washington paid the price suffering a tough loss to the rival Wildcats. Jasper got the scoring started immediately with Elizabeth Day’s deflection past Hatchet goalie Ally Hunsinger 50 seconds into the game.
“We didn’t have someone on that girl and it was a great header and it went in,” said Washington head coach Lauren Hannan. “Our defense was in the right place it was just an extremely unlucky ball.”
For most of the game, Washington controlled the pace of the game, but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net.
“We just couldn’t put it away,” Hannan said. “We had all the chances in the world and we just couldn’t capitalize on it.”
In the 34th minute, senior Olivia Myers appeared to have an opening at a goal, but narrowly missed the top right corner of the goal. Less than two minutes later, Audra Lane scored a header on a corner kick by Myers to tie the score at one. The goal was something that Hannan said that team works on all the time in practice and is one of their major weapons on offense.
In the 69th minute, Hatchet goalie Ally Hunsinger stopped a Jasper shot attempt, but couldn’t control possession or clear it from the defensive zone. Baer swooped in and crushed the momentum Washington had spent the entire night building.
“The girl did a fantastic job of following her shot, you always want your players to do,” Hannan said. “Ally (Hunsinger) did a good job, we wanted her to come out. We wanted her to do exactly what she did. She was on the ground, there was a dog pile on top of her, she couldn’t get up and she just happened to score.”
Earlier in the season, Hannan had talked about building the mental toughness of the entire team, but she doesn’t believe this loss will impact the team long term.
“After Jasper scored we came at them just as hard,” Hannan said. “They are going to be just fine, just now they have to remember from the beginning of the game like that. They can’t wait until the last five minutes of the first half decide they want to play after they score. It has to be from the very beginning and the second half was some of the best score we have played all season.”
Despite the difficult loss, Hannan doesn’t think the Hatchets have seen the last of Jasper.
“We’re not worried, because we’re going to see them again most likely,” Hannan said. “When we see them again we are going to make sure we play hard the entire time and hopefully win against them.”