WOOD RIVER JCT. – Though the season may be but two weeks old, any who thought that last year’s 7-5-2 season for the Chariho girls soccer team was a mere aberration from a decade of sub-.500 play can just about put those doubts to rest. Tuesday’s 2-1 home win over Moses Brown makes it four wins in four games in 2013 for the Chargers.
“This is a first for Chariho in I don’t know how many years. It’s nice. The girls are ecstatic,” said Chargers coach Brittney Godbout. “…We have a very young spirited team and when they want it, they go get it. It’s nice to see.”
As they took the field on Monday, the Chargers were facing an opponent they had come to know well of late. Despite coming in undefeated winning games in decisive fashion having given up just two goals to 11 goals scored, both coach and players knew that their strong play, especially on offense, would need to continue in order to keep a zero in the loss column.
“We trained for Moses Brown all week,” Godbout said. “We saw them at Injury Fund. We knew they had improved from last year. Defensively they’re very strong. They have Cat Mazo who is an incredible goalkeeper. So, we really just trained on the offense this week and the girls carried out what we did in practice.
“A lot of through balls, a lot of give-and-goes. It was very nice.”
From the opening kick the Chargers’ offense took complete control of the game. Though Mazo kept the score close, there was little doubt which was the better team in the opening 40 minutes.
As good as they were, however, it took some time for the Chargers to solve the riddle of Mazo, who had not given up a goal on the season coming into Tuesday’s match. It took until the 22nd minute for Chariho to draw first blood.
Five minutes after missing on a golden opportunity as her shot beat a sprawling Mazo, but just trickled past an empty net, junior Sami Orciari made sure her second attempt went in, this time chipping it over the Moses Brown goalkeeper and then firing it home for a 1-0 lead.
Though they controlled possession through the entire first half, the Chargers netted just the lone tally and as the Quaker offense began to gain traction at the onset of the second, what once seemed as though it was going to be an easy victory turned into a dogfight.
Both teams had their chances, but spectacular play from both Mazo and Chariho goalkeeper Silvana Terranova kept the opposing offenses off the board for much of the half.
The Chargers, however, got some much needed breathing room in the 75th minute when Sydney Allen poked one home through a scramble in front of the net following a corner kick for a 2-0 lead.
“Huge,” said Godbout of Allen’s tally. “That was the discussion at halftime. We played Moses Brown in the playoffs and they are not a team to quit, so we knew if we didn’t get another goal, we were going to be in trouble. It took us a lot longer to get that goal than I had hoped, but we got it.”
Even down two with just minutes to play, the Quakers did not relent and finally got on the board in the 78th minute as Alexandra Gray snuck in behind the Chargers’ defense and beat Terranova to cut the Moses Brown deficit to 2-1.
The Quakers then quickly gained possession following the ensuing kickoff and put on the full offensive press as Mazo carried the ball from her own goal deep into the Chariho end, but the young Charger defense thwarted the attack to preserve the 2-1 win.
“The defensive line was very strong tonight,” Godbout said. “They worked together and we definitely had the midfield helping out.”
The Chargers will get another good test as to how much they have improved since last season their next time out as they will host Division II foe Westerly Saturday at 2 p.m.