By Pilar Barrio Sanchez
Mattoon is peaking at the end of the season.
And who knows what would happen if the season were longer?
What we do know for sure is that Mattoon has many offensive weapons.
Gavin Gonzalez and Quincy Hamilton scored three goals apiece to lead the Green Wave past Teutopolis, 7-0, on Saturday morning.
Coach Ryan Ghere was proud with the performance of the team both on offence and defense. The question now is whether this brand of soccer will be enough to beat Apollo leaders Mahomet. Ghere is optimistic:
“After the game, we said that if we play like that we can compete with those upper echelon teams,” Ghere said. “And we play Mahomet on Tuesday so we will see.”
Mattoon employed a 4-4-2 alignment.
Trent Hettinger and Andrew Brinkschroeder attacked the back of Teutopolis’s defense by playing wide, forcing the defense to spread wide and allowing Mattoon forwards to check down and receive the ball in between the gaps.
“That is by far the best we have passed the ball all year,” Ghere said. “We probably had the ball on the offensive end 95 percent of the game. I thought the boys played extremely well.”
Ghere was also happy with the way their defensive line rotated the ball, getting the goalkeeper involved in the possession and making Teutopolis chase the ball for 80 minutes.
The first goal for Mattoon came nine minutes into the game when Gavin Gonzalez dribbled past the defenders and finish with his left foot to score the first of three goals.
Ten minutes later, Brinkschroeder received the ball close to the end line where he was able to cut past the defender and put the ball inside the box for Gonzalez, who scored on a header.
The Green Wave generated a multitude of chances in the first half, scoring three goals on 10 shots.
“We gave ourselves a lot of chances,” Ghere said. “We didn’t do a good job of finishing those chances in the first half, but I think we did a better job in the second half of finishing.”
Before the first half was over, Hamilton was able to get his second goal after a great assist from Hettinger.
In the second half, the dynamic did not change. T-Town was able to generate a couple chances from long throw-ins, but Mattoon still dominated possession and had multiple scoring opportunities.
Hamilton, moved from midfield to forward, scored two more goals in the second half, one of them chipping the goalkeeper from outside the box.
“Quincy Hamilton put the ball in the net a lot today, and he has struggled to score lately so, hopefully, that gets him rolling for the last week of the season,” Ghere said.
Ghere said that with Gonzalez graduating he is hoping for Hamilton to step up as the top scorer of the team in a more offensive role next year.
“It makes me feel great,” Hamilton said. “It makes me feel really good that he trusts me.”
Beadle and Gonzalez finished the scoring to cap off a very good performance from the Green Wave. Mattoon is now 11-4 entering its final three games of the season next week.