By Chet Piotrowski
Mattoon’s soccer players were angry after a 4-1 loss at Lincoln on Tuesday so somebody was going to pay.
That proved to be Charleston.
Senior forward Gavin Gonzalez netted two goals, one on a penalty kick, and had three assists as the Green Wave’s relentless pressure denied Charleston scoring chances in a 6-0 at Charleston High School Thursday afternoon.
Mattoon has now beaten Charleston twice in less than a week for an aggregate 10-0 score.
“We didn’t do that Tuesday at Lincoln,” Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere said. “We got beat by Lincoln and had a talk about it yesterday and had a good practice. We talked about having to put pressure on them.”
Mattoon, which improves to 6-2, plays host to Altamont today.
Charleston, now 0-4-1, will host Lincoln on Saturday.
“We took advantage of the chances we had. Jared (Ruiz) shot from forty yards out and made it over the keeper,” Ghere said. “As a defender who scores a goal like that is just icing on the cake. I thought we did a good job out wide and gave ourselves chances in the middle.”
As ominous as the storm that plagued the pitch, Gonzalez’s shot bounced off the top cross bar with 16:43 left in the first half was moreso.
Mattoon, already ahead by a goal from Mick Porter with just under 13 minutes left in the first half, put another on the board.
The Green Wave were awarded a direct kick just outside the penalty area. A Gonzalez kick caromed off the Charleston defense going to teammate Quincy Hamilton who squeaked it past Charleston goalkeeper Alex Dow into the bottom left corner for a 2-0 lead from three yards out.
Mattoon’s defense denied Charleston opportunities to mount any offense, and when given the chance, Charleston couldn’t capitalize.
Kaden Fultz and Kaiden Bowersock received yellow cards in the defensive zone 63 seconds apart right before the end of the first half, but Charleston couldn’t take advantage of the subsequent free kicks.
“We had some chances. But we take the wrong chances,” Charleston coach Josh Garrett said. “Sometimes, the hard way not the easy way.”
Eleven minutes into the second half, Mattoon defenseman Jared Ruiz took an Andrew Brinkschroeder pass and launched a 40-yard shot that sailed past the outstretched hands of Dow and into the top right corner, extending the Green Wave lead, 3-0.
“We did a good job of getting the ball out to Andrew Brinkschoeder,” Ghere said. “He really served in some nice balls for us today.”
Gonzalez, who scored two goals and assisted on two others in the first matchup, scored Thursday off a Mac Beadles assist midway through the second half, making it 4-0.
Charleston’s Carter Gordon, fighting for a Brinkschroeder entry pass, ran through Trent Hettinger in the penalty area eliciting a whistle and a penalty kick for Mattoon. Gonzalez netted the opportunity to make it 5-0 with 18:38 left.
“It’s the same thing all year,” Garrett said. “We’re playing pretty decent soccer. We aren’t creating enough chances on goal and we’re not putting away chances that we get on goal. That’s the end of the story. The soccer is ok. Once we let a team get up a few goals the wheels come off.”
Nine minutes later, Brinkschroeder would take a Gonzalez pass for a floater past Dow for the final tally of the game, 6-0.
Mattoon goalkeeper Jason Skocy would have a clean sheet with three saves.
“That’s our game. Knock balls wide and send them across and give ourselves chances,” Ghere said. “Our forwards did a nice job passing the ball today. They got some nice combination play up top. Jason did a nice job in goal getting the shutout. 1 through 11, every position played well today.”