WASHINGTON — For the second straight year, the season for the Gibson Southern boys’ soccer team came to an end against Washington.
The Class 2A No. 4 ranked Hatchets claimed their third straight sectional title with a 4-0 win over the Titans on their home field.
It was the second straight loss in the sectional championship for Gibson Southern.
Jacob Davis scored in the 12th minute of the first half and the Hatchets never looked back.
Kyle Mann added a second goal in the 29th as the hosts lead 2-0 at intermission.
The Titans nearly scored an equalizer before Washington grabbed the 2-goal advantage.
Jake Novotny sent a corner kick inside the box which caused the Hatchets keeper to come out of the net. The ball bounced to Justin Barthel on the right side and he sent a shot towards the empty net.
But Washington defender Esteban Becerra dropped down to his knees near the goal line and blocked the shot with his chest. The Hatchets eventually cleared the ball out of the attacking zone to turn away the Titans’ best scoring chance of the game.
“We had some chances,” Gibson Southern coach Chris Barthel said. “I told the kids at halftime we could have been 2-2 but there was no need to panic. We just needed to play more balls to the feet of our players.”
Joost Mahler extended Washington’s lead to 3-0 in the 51st on a header. Grant Niehaus dove head first to head a corner kick into the back of the net for the final tally of the game five minutes later.
“We knew going into the day it was going to be a hard match,” the Titans coach said. “We knew we were going to have to play with the same intensity as we did (Wednesday) against Princeton, but we just didn’t have it...they were the better team today and it just did not work out for us.”
Washington recorded 13 shots on goal, while the Titans were only able to boot four on goal.
“I think panic started to sit in and we started trying to send balls over the top through the air instead of connecting at our feet,” Barthel said. “We did the same thing last year against them as well.”
Gibson Southern finished the season with a 13-5-1 record and will return nine of eleven starters for next year.
“I think we had a great season,” Barthel stated. “This was really the only game where we just got outplayed and we have a lot to be proud of. We only lose two guys next year so we have a lot to look forward to.”