Girls soccer: Jordyn Washington, after delayed high school debut, helps deliver Oswego ‘amazing’ crosstown win

Panthers’ sophomore has goal, assist in Panthers’ 2-0 win over Oswego East

Oswego’s Jordyn Washington (18) reacts after scoring a goal late in the second half of play against Oswego East during a soccer match at Oswego East High School on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

OSWEGO – Jordyn Washington’s high school soccer debut endured a one-year delay, but it never took away the Oswego striker’s determination.

Before her freshman year last spring, Washington blew out her knee, suffering a torn ACL, MCL, meniscus and LCL. It was 10 months and 13 days before Washington was cleared for full contact in October of 2023.

“It was a long process of therapy,” Washington said. “I was like, I have to return and make varsity, or otherwise I won’t live up to my dreams.”

That long recovery received some just rewards Tuesday.

Washington assisted one goal in the first half and scored a second in the final minutes of the second, sending visiting Oswego past Oswego East 2-0 on a blustery afternoon. It’s Oswego’s first win over its crosstown rival since 2019, as Oswego East had won the previous four meetings.

“It is amazing,” Washington said. “It was tough not playing last year. I always wanted to play with my long-time friend Anna Johnson, but it’s good.”

Washington’s arrival for an Oswego team that had to replace a record-setting scorer in Johnson has been very good.

Washington in 2022 was selected to play on the Rush National Select team and Rush Select International team going to Arizona and Madrid, Spain, and she later made the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development program.

Oswego’s Jordyn Washington (18) shoots the ball against Oswego East during a soccer match at Oswego East High School on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

With height and a physical frame that looks well-suited to be a basketball power forward or center, Washington is impossible to miss on the soccer field.

“Having her on the field, she has a great presence,” Oswego coach Gaspar Arias said. “She has translated that confidence to the rest of the players. Every time she gets the ball we know she will do something great for us.”

Great like her cross to Aubrey Eirich in the box that Eirich finished with a shot inside the left post. The goal, with 8:03 left in the first half, gave Oswego (7-4-5, 4-0-3) a much-needed boost after playing the first half going with a strong wind blowing to the south.

“It was big, getting that pressure on them, going into the first half knowing that we were up,” Washington said. “On that play I was running and I was like I don’t have a good angle and I heard Aubrey coming. We’ve practiced that before.”

Freshman goalkeeper Kyla Baier and the Oswego defense made the goal stand until Washington provided an insurance goal with 4:09 left in the game.

Baier has shared time in goal this season with senior Amara Loghmani, but Baier quickly showed Tuesday why Arias has so much faith in her.

Oswego’s Kyla Baier (0) saves the ball against Oswego East during a soccer match at Oswego East High School on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.

In the game’s ninth minute, an Oswego East free kick was deflected over the goal by a leaping Baier. Less than two minutes later Baier knocked away a shot by Oswego East’s Ashley Gumm on an Anya Gulbrandsen cross.

“It was a lot of adrenalin going through – it’s just reaction there,” Baier said.

It’s the sixth shutout this season for an Oswego defense with a freshman in goal and three sophomore defenders.

“The system we are playing, it’s not just the three defenders, it’s the attacking players doing an amazing job preventing attacking,” Arias said. “She [Baier] has great communication. She comes out of the box a lot, she is not afraid of contact, she reads players very well. For a freshman you can tell she is very confident.”

Oswego East (7-6-1, 4-2), with the wind at its back in the second half, was confident it could provide an equalizing goal. But it never materialized.

Gulbrandsen had a shot go over the goal off a Gumm free kick, had her own free kick go wide right and shot wide of the goal on a counter over the first 20 minutes of the second half.

“It just didn’t go our way,” Oswego East coach Juan Leal said. “The wind was huge against us in the first half. It was hard for us to build up, hard for us to get the ball up, hard for us to switch the field. The thing is we had to keep the ball out of the air and we didn’t really do that.

“The second half, we didn’t shoot the way we should have. We kept trying to dribble in – you have the wind to your advantage and you don’t take advantage, I don’t know how you expect to win.”