Washington kicks off postseason with Beddingfield

Published 10:03 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018


Riding an eight-game winning streak where the Pam Pack outscored its opponents 59-3, the Washington soccer team heads into the first round of the state playoffs Saturday full of confidence and looking to make a deep run.

The Pam Pack, which tied with Greene Central for the conference championship but was given the league’s No. 2 spot after losing a coin flip with the Rams, closed out the regular season firing on all cylinders, leaving Washington head coach Jim Kozuch’s players raring to go for the playoffs.

“Right now, they’re very confident,” Kozuch said. “Since we dropped the one game to Greene Central, we’ve been playing good soccer. The competition hasn’t been the greatest, so we’ve really been anticipating the playoffs just to up the ante a little bit.”

But while the Pam Pack is confident, Kozuch doesn’t want to see a repeat of the 2017 playoffs. Last season, Washington opened up the postseason with a home game as well. But perhaps already looking to the second round, the Pam Pack was eliminated by Wheatmore with a 2-0 loss.

The Pam Pack could potentially play No. 2 seed Clinton in the second round, but Kozuch is making sure his players are focused on Beddingfield.

“That’s one thing that I’ve been definitely trying to talk to the guys about, is ‘just one game at a time,’” Kozuch said. “Last year, I guess we were a little cocky or a little overconfident or something, and we got knocked out in the first round. A lot of the guys are talking about how excited they were to try and go play Clinton, but we’ve got to bring them back down to Earth and say, ‘We’ve got to beat Beddingfield first and just take it game by game.”

Washington will lean on the veteran leadership of senior captains Tim Anglim, Oscar Espinoza and Cody Pinkham, who have been key players in attack, midfield and defense, respectively, all season. Along with that trio, Elvin Elizalde at forward, Parker Graham and Dawson Cox on the wings, Jarod Espinoza in midfield, and defenders Henry Jennings, Gerardo Avila and Luis Ramirez figure to play large roles for Washington.

With the kind of form his team is in, Kozuch wants the Pam Pack to set the tone, play its game and force the Bruins to adjust to how Washington plays.

“As far as the first round goes with Beddingfield, I feel like that we’re the team to beat,” Kozuch said. “I’m not doing much homework on them. I’m focused on our guys doing what we do and I’m very confident that if we go out and we play our game that we won’t have to change anything. As the rounds go a little bit further, I’ll definitely have to do a little bit more research into games and whatnot. But right now, I think this is one of those games where they’re going to have to adapt to play us. Right now, we’re feeling good, and as long as we play our game, we’re going to be ready for them.”