Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski
Some would call it a pep talk.
Others would call it lighting a fire.
Either way, Mattoon boys soccer coach Ryan Ghere did just that at halftime of the Green Wave’s 7-0 victory over Charleston on Thursday afternoon.
“We possessed the ball and were unselfish in the final third (part of the field),” Ghere said. “That’s what we didn’t do in the first 60 minutes of the game. We did that the last twenty minutes and you look and see what happens. We put goals in the net. Hopefully, we can learn from and do it the whole game on Monday.”
Ghere said he’s not going complain about his team scoring, though.
“Never going to complain about scoring seven goals and beating your rival 7-0,” Ghere said. “There were moments we played really well and there were moments we didn’t play so well. We still have things to work. I thought we finished the game well in the last fifteen minutes.”
Mattoon opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game on a corner kick by Trent Hettinger that went through the hands of Charleston’s freshman goalie Drew Dow.
Mattoon’s predominant scorer, Hettinger, put another tally on the board five minutes later by blasting a shot that ricocheted off of Dow into the net.
“I thought my team played reall well. It was unfortunate with the score,” Charleston coach Zach Stranz said. “ I thought we held our own. I was impressed with them. I think we came a long ways since the beginning of the season.”
Stranz says that his team lacks depth.
“We unfortunately don’t have a big bench,” he said. “We play with most teams in the first twenty minutes or so, and then it kind of fades off a little bit. We’re working on it. We’re a young team.”
The 3-8 Trojans are in a learning mode.
“I truly believe that everything we take this year will move to next,” Stranz said. “We’re only losing one senior, so it’ll be good. We had a good solid core of defense. When they get tired, they said they needed breathers. When we cycle in and out, it confuses us a little bit.”
The Green Wave finished off the first half scoring with Hamilton’s second goal of the game after a corner kick turned into a scrum in front of Dow. Hamilton found the ball, knocking it in.
Ghere gave his squad a good chat at the half.
“I think they wore down a bit,” he said. “I thought we played hard. We just don’t play smart, at times. The things that we don’t do well we can fix, and that’s a good thing.”
Ghere said conditioning played a role in the win.
“We play a lot of players and they don’t have the numbers,” he said. “We ran them. I think conditioning was a factor. I think that was better than what we played last week. That’s all that I can ask. As long as we keep on improving.”
Mattoon players collected themselves and scored four more in the last 20 minutes of the second half, bolstered by Hamilton assisting on an Evan Chaney goal and then scoring his third goal before Andy Karpus scored twice.
Hettinger finished with two assists and a goal.
“Evan Chaney and Andy Karpus did a really nice job for us up top and put the ball in the net,” Ghere said. “That’s what we need them to do. Quincy’s been our main goal scorer this year, but we gotta have someone learning for next year. People are going to mark Quincy and we need others to put the ball in the net.”
Mattoon (7-3-1) next faces Mt. Zion on Monday. The Green Wave tied them a week ago.
“Should be a heckuva game, I think,” Ghere said.
27:21 Trent Hettinger, 1 (unassisted corner)
22:03 Quincy Hamilton, 1. Assist: Hettinger.
12:59 Hamilton, 2. Assist: Hettinger, 2.
23:17 Evan Chaney, 1. Assist: Hamilton, 1.
12:38 Hamilton, 3 (unassisted)
10:04 Andy Karpus, 1. Assist: Mitchell Gergeni, 1.