By Will Simmons

Charleston had a major share of possession and created many chances, but could not find the net, falling 3-0 in a rematch against a speedy Mt. Zion squad at Paul Stranz Field.

The Braves connected on balls over and through the Trojans’ high line to score three goals in the first half, handing Charleston their third loss in the Apollo league.

Charleston (2-7) increased its attacks around the six-minute mark of the first half with coach Ali Gowin telling her team, from the sideline, all the chances they were creating would pay off.   

“We had a lot of energy at the beginning of the end of the first half, and we wish we would have kept that rolling for the second,” Gowin said. “I think that we would have done a lot better if we kept our energy up.”

Charleston Junior Makenzie Pamperin blocks a Mt. Zion pass Tuesday at Paul Stranz Field. (Photo/Dominic Baima)

Charleston freshman Mia Hinds fired two shots, one on goal.

“Super great touches on the ball and super gritty,” she said of Hinds’ performance. “I mean, she (Hinds) had a really great game.”

In one instance, Trojan freshman Hadley Webb centered it from the near-side to Annaleise Butcher who skipped the ball up to Hinds where she pushed up to the edge of the 18-yard box, but shot it directly to Braves keeper Macie Fleming’s lifted palms. 

Hinds followed with another chance, again, near the goal box and managed to swing her foot up to flick an incoming corner, barely missing the net. 

Charleston held the ball around the area for ample time, and showed improvement from past performances, something, Hinds said, the Trojans could build on with better movement.

“I think it was a lot better game possession-wise,” Hinds said. “We just had a little more connection, but the placement was off, like, we weren’t in the right places on the field where we needed to be.”

Mt. Zion (10-2) was in the right places from the start, with a shot on goal from their first attack. It was not long after when the Braves’ Wrigley Donahue threaded the ball through defenders from the right side of the penalty arc past Trojans’ diving goalie Ally Logsdon and into the back of the goal, to put Mt. Zion on the board.

The next Brave’s goal came in transition off a punt from Fleming that caught up with Mt. Zion freshman Maddie Kendall at midfield’s right side. Kendall raced at a left slant toward the middle of the area and cut it back to the net’s right corner, with seven minutes to go until the half.

After Mt. Zion’s second goal Charleston accelerated pressure in its attacking side and took the momentum back, only to lose it with 4 seconds remaining in the first half on a counter attack goal.

Braves coach Jonathan Moore said his goalie was able to boot the ball farther with help from the wind, getting it over Charleston’s defensive line.

“We saw we saw the highline that they’re playing,” Moore said, “and we knew we don’t like to kick and chase a lot, but if it presents itself, you know, we’re going to take advantage of it, and they were playing high, and we knew that if we could just get over top that we’ve got that speed to go chase that down.”

Charleston had tied Mt. Zion 1-1 during their first matchup in March at the St. Teresa tournament, only to lose in a shootout.

CHS goalkeeper Ally Logsdon recorded eight saves.