Washington puts Hounds away for season

Regional loss ends Fort Madison's season in first round of post-season


WASHINGTON — Fort Madison’s missed opportunities punctuated the first 11 minutes of Monday’s Class 3A Substate 2 soccer semifinal against Washington.
By the end of the game, the missed chances were the Bloodhounds’ biggest lament.
Fort Madison’s season ended with a 2-1 loss to the Demons in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southeast Conference this season.
Washington (11-3) advanced to play Cedar Rapids Xavier in Wednesday’s substate final, with the winner qualifying for the state tournament.
Angel Mata’s breakaway goal 10 minutes into the second half was the difference in the game for the Demons, but the tone was set much earlier than that.
The Bloodhounds had been slow starters all season, but had a different level of energy to open the game. They put constant pressure on the Demons, but couldn’t get the ball in the net.
Henry Graham had two shots miss in the first five minutes. His first shot, just 90 seconds into the game, was smothered by Washington goalkeeper Omar Roman. Graham had an opening on his second shot 5 ½ minutes later, but it went left of the net.
Leif Boeding had a scoring chance off a back pass from Graham, but he missed. Noah Swigert’s free kick at the 29:00 mark also was stopped.
“We had a couple of shots, point-blank, one-on-one with the keeper, and we put into the keeper’s bread basket,” Fort Madison coach Kevin Wellman said. “Yeah, you’ve got to put those away for a few different reasons. One, you want the goal on the scoreboard. The other thing is it takes the wind out of your sail, especially the player that made the shot. He thinks, ‘Darn it, I put it right at the keeper, I let my team down.’ He’s thinking about that, and then he’s not ready for the next play.
“And then every miss gives the other team confidence. So it almost hits you three-fold.”
Washington then got the first goal of the match when Edwin Cortes got past the Bloodhound defense and got a shot past Fort Madison goalkeeper Oliver Santiago.
Fort Madison, though, was able to tie the game before halftime. Washington’s Brayden Arreola received a yellow card with 4:16 left in the half, and Graham hit his free kick into the top of the right side of the net for the goal.
Boeding had two shots in the second half just miss to the left side as the Bloodhounds tried to search for an equalizer they couldn’t get.
“(Washington) didn’t have a whole lot of chances, but they put them away,” Wellman said. “The second goal, the game-winner, was a misplay on our part, and (Mata) was off to the races. And it was a good finish.
“They’re very quick players. They read where they want to go, and they make the quick decision to go. That was part of the reason in the first half why we were talking about getting the ball out of the middle.”
The Bloodhounds closed the season with three consecutive losses, two coming to the Demons, who won the conference title, ending Fort Madison’s three-year championship run.
“I think we need to work more on fundamentals,” Wellman said. “We need better first touches, we need better last touches. We gave away the ball unpressured more than I liked. So we need to work on good, solid, passes to teammates. That’s easy to do, we just have to play a lot. They have to commit to working on those things in the backyard, getting together with three or four of their friends to work on it. If they choose to do that 15 minutes a day, an hour every few days, they’ll get better at it.”

Washington, Demons, Fort Madison, soccer, post-season, loss, boys, high school IAHSAA, regionals, Hounds, Bloodhounds, Pen City Current,


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