Fairfield withstands Washington
The Washington girls’ soccer comeback bid came up just short at home against Fairfield on Thursday night.
The two-goal first half by the Trojans proved too much for Washington to overcome as Fairfield defeated the Demons 2-1.
“They were pressuring our defense,” Washington head coach Kyle Collins said. “They had a couple girls up there staying on them and we just didn’t mark up right a couple times and that’s all it takes. It was 2-0 at half and we adjusted to try to stop that in the second half.”
In the first half, Fairfield took charge early and eight minutes in, Huma Liptak knocked in a mid-range shot past Washington keeper Stephanie Evans for a goal.
For much of the first half, the Trojans were on the attack, generating numerous offensive opportunities, but Evans was able to keep Fairfield out of the net until Liptak found another seam for her second goal of the game at the 30-minute mark of the game.
Fairfield took the 2-0 lead into halftime, and seemed to have all the momentum, but Washington was ready with adjustments coming out of the break.
“Compared to the first half when (Fairfield) was just getting by and taking multiple shots, it wasn’t helping me, but I should have (saved) those two,” Evans said. “In the second half we came out and I would say we won the half, and we wanted it but couldn’t get it there.”
Washington wasted no time picking up a goal in the second half, as four minutes in, Chayse Jaspering sped past a pair of Fairfield defenders and fired a shot that found the back of the net.
Evans kept the Trojans out of the back of the net the entire second half, but the Washington offense couldn’t find another goal, giving the Trojans the 2-1 victory.
“We had a little more space (in the first half) and when (Liptak) took her shots, she took them from the 18,” Fairfield coach Michiel Hekker said. “In the second half, Washington closed out quicker so it was tough to get those shots off, so we had a lot weaker shots from further out in the second half.”
Although Washington was handed the loss, there was a lot of talk after the game about the play of Evans, who made critical and athletic saves throughout the game.
“On the offensive side, we couldn’t get one in (in the second half) because their keeper stopped everything,” Hekker said. “She had tremendous diving saves and was covering the entire box.”
This was nothing new to Collins, who praised her effort to keep Washington in the game.
“(Stephanie) does awesome,” Collins said. “She comes out every game and gives it her best and there is not more I can say about it. She’s an animal, goes after every ball and makes every dive she can, and if she can’t get it, it is going to be a good shot. She makes some awesome saves.”
Washington has a quick turnaround and plays Oskaloosa Friday evening at 6 p.m., and Collins said the key is to focus on what the team did in the second half of Thursday’s game.
“Just like we did in the second half tonight, we need to communicate more,” Collins said. “Make sure everyone is covering who they are supposed to be covering and play a whole 80 minutes. If you do that, and know you gave it your all, you hope to win and we plan on playing 100 percent of the game tough.”