By Dillan Schorfheide
The outcome wasn’t what CHS boys soccer coach Zach Stranz had wanted.
The Charleston High School boys soccer team lost 1-0 in its season opener to Arthur-Okaw Christian, during the Red and Gold Tournament on Wednesday at CHS’s Paul Stranz Field.
But Stranz felt his team’s performance was a stepping stone for the rest of the season.
Charleston wasn’t able to send any shots into the back of the net, but, overall, Stranz was pleased with his team’s performance in their first game.
“I’m really excited for the season,” Stranz said. ”I think we worked the ball well in the first half. I really liked the energy and effort my team gave.”
The Trojans put together solid stretches throughout the game, which, Stranz said, is already better than where his team had been at the start of last season.
“I saw a lot of good spurts and good combinations, of triangles and give-and-gos – and that’s what we’ve really been working on,” he said.
Although the Trojans attack couldn’t get on the score board, the Trojans put together some good scoring opportunities.
Charleston kept the pressure up for the first quarter of the game, holding the ball in Arthur-Okaw’s half of the field and getting some shots off.
With 18 minutes left in the first half, Brandon Jones was able to get a shot off at close range, capping a good start for the Trojans.
Jones, along with Kyle Ross, created opportunities with solid passing.
Arthur-Okaw then countered with its own pressure, firing off a few shots without scoring.
CHS goalkeeper Alex Dow played solid in the net, recording eight saves in the game. Okaw outshot CHS 9-2 overall.
Arthur-Okaw broke the scoreless tie with just under 12 minutes left in the game on a crossing pass that led to a header that went into the net.
Charleston had a few opportunities in the second half, including a shot from Wesley Paul that hit off the post.
The Trojans play Mattoon tonight at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Charleston will face Effingham at 10 a.m. and East Richland at 3:15 p.m.