The Washington Demons made it through the first round of the soccer playoffs last night by beating Mt. Pleasant.
In the first half, both teams had quality scoring chances, trading back-and-forth before Joe Smith found an opening and the back of the net in the 21st minute to go up 1-0. The Panthers answered quickly though, as a ball danced around in front of the Demon net and Yiannis Steryiannis got a good foot on the ball and sent it past Baughman for the tying goal.
In the second half, both teams battled back and forth and it seemed that neither one was going to give up the go-ahead goal, but then a long shot across the ground bounced a few times and got Baughman a little stunned as it found its way into the net to give the Panthers their first lead. Washington needed a push, and they found it as they had two corner kicks from Joe Smith that they could not convert on, but a long ball that was chased down by Smith and mishandled by the goalie, pulled the Mt. Pleasant goalie out of his net, and Mason Quigley was on the doorstep with the equalizer header goal that sent the game into overtime.
Going into OT, it was clear that Washington had the momentum, sprinting to each ball and pressuring the Panther defense. Washington ended it early, after a string of throw ins in the offensive zone, Quigley tossed one in that found its way to an open area, and Smith converted on a A+ chance that got the win 3-2.
Head coach Steven Caulk said it was a matter of getting his players to swarm the ball which got them the goal.
“We really tried to push these guys, have a lot of number up the field on the ball, and have a lot of number back,” Caulk said. “These guys were there, they were where they needed to be, and that is what opens up opportunities and allows us to put balls in the back of the net. I would describe it as just having guys where they needed to be.”
Washington will move on to round two when they face Fairfield at Fairfield on Thursday.