By Kyle Daubs
It’s one of the few times when Mattoon and Charleston can agree on something before playing in their friendly rivalry.
They just don’t know.
For the first time in two years, Paul Stranz Field will feature a girls’ soccer matchup between the two Coles County teams. Usually by this time, both teams would have a glimpse of what each other brings to the field.
Instead, both head coaches are going in blind.
“As to Mattoon, I really have no clue since we have not played them for two years,” said Charleston coach Josh Garrett.
“I am not really sure about Charleston,” said Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere. “We haven’t seen them in a couple of years, so I am just focused on us and improving from one game to the next.”
Mattoon brings a 1-2 record, 0-1 in the Apollo, to Charleston.
Mattoon is coming off an intense 6-4 loss to Mount Zion on Tuesday after having shut down Olney, 5-0, on Monday.
“We struggled defensively in our loss to Mt. Zion, but we can fix the problems that we had,” said Ghere.
In three games, Lily Ghere leads the team with five goals, followed by Faith Niebrugge with four.
“Lily should be a strong. Faith Niebrugge was fantastic as a freshman,” said Garrett.
Meanwhile, Charleston (2-1, 1-0) is led by Ella Garrett, who has four goals while Logan Webster has two goals. Charleston’s lone loss is a 3-2 nailbiter with Arthur Okaw Christian, a day after defeating Urbana, 2-0.
“Mallie Hanner has been a good leader in center mid(field) and our two center backs, Shelby Herrington and Delaney Meister, are playing great,” said Garrett. “It will be great to play Mattoon again. It’s always a fun and intense game. Coach Ghere will certainly have them ready.”
Ghere expects the game to feature a high-scoring total given the two team’s hot scoring starts to the season.
“We are just glad to be playing again and are anxious to start this rivalry again,” said Ghere. “I think it should be an exciting game with lots of scoring chances. It should be a fun one to watch.”