WOOD RIVER JCT.—The last undefeated team in Division III has finally fallen.
The Chariho girls soccer team opened league play with 10 straight victories but Friday the Chargers suffered their first setback, a 1-0 loss at Moses Brown.
“I think it was kind of eye opening for them,” Chariho coach Brittney Godbout said by phone Tuesday night. “There were tears a bit of a shock but they came out this week and they realized that they can lose.”
Chariho did have a non-league loss to Westerly earlier in the season but it being the team’s first defeat in Division III-A of the year it stung just a bit more.
“We always play a bit shaky when we play Westerly. I don’t know if it’s the whole rivalry or the girls know each other but the girls weren’t really bothered by it,” Godbout said. “Then obviously Moses Brown we didn’t play our game and that’s what most of the girls were frustrated about.”
The Quakers took the lead on a breakaway off a through ball with 15 minutes remaining in the first half Friday and that proved to be enough to hold off the Chargers.
While not an excuse for the defeat, Godbout did cite the team’s recent weak schedule against the bottom three teams in the division as a possible reason for her team’s performance.
“They kind of mimic the other teams and I think they got used to playing down,” Godbout said. “Then when we played MB they were caught on their heels a bit.”
No coach ever wants their team to lose a game but if there ever was a time for the Chargers to drop one it was now.
Chariho entered this week with three games remaining on the schedule with enough time to restart its momentum with a few wins.
“It’s better that they’ve seen it now,” Godbout said. “The timing was right.”
That being said, if the Chargers want to secure one of the top seeds heading into the Division III playoffs than theremainder of this week will be absolutely critical.
Chariho returned to action Wednesday against North Providence (results unavailable at press time) and will wrap up the week at second-place West Warwick (9-1-1 Division III-A) Friday at 4 p.m.
“It’s huge,” Godbout said of closing out the season strong. “We had the lead in the division by quite a bit for a while and now West Warwick is only a half a game (two points) below us.”
Fortunately for the Chargers, they control their own destiny as far as what seed they will be in the playoffs and can lock up the top spot in D-III A with wins against the Cougars and Wizards.
So far Godbout has liked what she’s seen in practice Monday and Tuesday, as her team returned with a greater focus and a rekindled fire.
“The week prior before Moses Brown and me and my assistant said if we lose it’s because we haven’t practiced as normal,” Godbout said. “I think they got their heads a little big.
“…[This week they’re] head down, they’re concentrating. They know they’re not unstoppable.”