Pack stuns rivals, can clinch title Wednesday

Published 9:42 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

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The Washington High School soccer team avenged its only conference loss with a 4-0 home victory over rival Greene Central Monday night.

The Pam Pack (12-4, 8-1) can wrap up their 10th Eastern Plains Conference championship in the last 11 years with a victory over North Pitt Wednesday night at home.

The Rams (12-3-1, 8-1-1) were the team that broke the winning streak two years ago and won the first matchup almost three weeks ago, 1-0, on a penalty kick. It was the last goal Washington has allowed and the Pack has won eight straight matches by a combined 50-0 score.

“This rivalry never disappoints and I’m really proud of our guys,” WHS coach Jim Kozuch said. “That last meeting over at their place told us we could play with them and our first goal was huge. It gave us momentum and we never let them back in the match.”

Ironically, sophomore Hector Olivares scored the first goal on a penalty kick 16 minutes into the first half. Junior Edgar Quevedo hammered home his first of two goals on a shot from the left side that found the upper right corner of the net for a 2-0 lead at the 20 minute mark.

“We added an offensive player and gave up a defender to create more scoring chances and to put more pressure on their defense,” Kozuch said. “It worked well because we thought it was important to score first. They haven’t given up many goals and it was huge for us to get four.”

Senior captain Ivan Machado made it 3-0 seven minutes into the second half and Quevedo set the final margin on a penalty kick with 25 minutes left.

A win over North Pitt would also give the Pack a higher seed in the upcoming 2A state playoffs, which means more home games.

“Our crowd was great tonight and they’ve been very supportive all year,” Kozuch said. “We only have three senior starters this year and our guys got off to a rough start (0-3). They’ve worked hard to improve and they know how to have fun and be serious at the same time. It will be fun to see how we do in the playoffs.”