By Chet Piotrowski
Mattoon head coach Ryan Ghere sent his team a message during a halftime speech after his players went scoreless against Effingham. The squad received it loud and clear.
The Green Wave responded with two goals from Gavin Gonzalez and two assists by Andrew Brinkschroeder in a 4-0 win against the Hearts on Tuesday afternoon.
“I think we finally woke up,” Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere said. “The last day and a half we’ve been on spring break. We had a good discussion at halftime. I challenged them a little bit and, you know, they responded.”
Mattoon’s Mac Beadles started the scoring for the Green Wave (10-3) with a shot that netted the bottom left corner in the seventh minute of the second half.
“The first one, Andrew Brinkschroeder had a great run down the left side and served it across. Mac Beadles did a great job of finishing. That was key,” Ghere said. “Sometimes on a day like today that opens the floodgates.”
Six minutes later, Brinkschroeder fed Gonzalez for another goal. The prolific Mattoon scorer was thrown to the ground while pressing Effingham’s defense with the ball inside the penalty box by Effingham’s Jackson Doedtman, prompting a yellow card.
On the penalty kick, Gonzalez flicked the ball into the bottom left corner as Effingham goalkeeper Brandon Duncan moved to his right, making the score 3-0 in the 17th minute.
Gonzalez was active in the box throughout the game, Ghere said, and that set up a penalty kick.
“Once we got them down, we moved to the offense,” Ghere said, “and that gave us a chance against some of their secondary defenders and (we) got a lot more chances the the rest of the game.”
Mattoon’s Trent Hettinger scored in the 20th minute by sending the ball under Duncan, extending the Green Wave lead to 4-0.
“Well, we fell into a trap pretty quickly. Number 9 (Hettinger) – man, he’s fast. He used his speed on that side, and they were claiming an advantage on that side,” Effingham coach Weston Peno said. “As we switched, they were good on going back and forth on that. There wasn’t much we could do two goals in. I’m not happy with some of things that happened along the way in this game, but there’s not much we can do. We played well, just fell into a trap.”
Ghere was pleased by how his team responded in the second half. “You have to give them credit,” he said. “They came out in the second half and they responded. They did their job in the second half. The outside midfielders did their job serving balls in, and the guys in the middle did a good job of finishing. I thought defensively we were good all game.”
Effingham is now 3-8.
“They (Effingham) have some really good players. They did a nice job of keeping them out of the goal and waited for our offense to get started,” Ghere said. “They put together a good second half in the final third.”
Mac Beadles, goal (1), Andrew Brinkschroeder, asst. (1) 7th minute
Gavin Gonzalez, goal (1), Andrew Brinkschroeder, asst. (2) 13th minute
Gavin Gonzalez, goal (2), PK 17 thminute
Trent Hettinger, goal (1), Kaiden Bowersock, asst. (1) 20th minute