By Kyle Daubs

With a week off, Mattoon will be fresh. 

The Green Wave begin Apollo Conference play today with a match against Charleston.

After winning the Decatur St. Teresa Invitational title, the Green Wave followed that up by outscoring their next three opponents by a 21-2 margin. The 6-0 girls soccer team blew out Monticello 8-1, followed that with a 6-1 win over Warrensburg-Latham, and then a 7-0 win over Olney. 

However, the team has not played in a week due to weather and had to postpone its home debut on a new turf field.

“We are just ready to play again,” said Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere. “We are off to a great start but haven’t played in over a week.  The girls are excited to play Charleston.  We want to have a chance to win the conference and you cannot take any night off during the conference season.  Charleston will be ready to play us.  Both teams will be up for the rivalry game.  It should be fun.”

Faith Niebrugge has posted three hat tricks, including five goals against Monticello for 15 total, while Lily Ghere has two straight hat tricks for nine goals along with a team-leading 15 assists. Piper Sanders has three goals and three assists while Marley Vanhovlen has also scored three times. Plus, Bella Masse and Paige Farmer each have two goals. 

In goal, Anabelle Lee leads the team with six saves, while Avery Smith adds three saves. Both players have split time in goal.  

“We have played better each game,” said Ghere. “Faith and Lily have scored several goals, but other girls are starting to step up and put the ball in the net.  Our defense is doing a great job of not allowing our opponents to have many scoring chances. We just need to keep improving and work on better ball control.”