EAST GREENWICH – An early Avenger goal and a Chariho answer shortly after would be all the offense that came to pass in Tuesday’s boys’ soccer match, as the well-matched Division II squads ended in a 1-1 draw at Carcieri Field.
It was the fourth tie for both sides, and they traded plenty of shots in a fast-paced game as they were both looking for some breathing room in the tight league standings.
The Chargers (4-2-4) earned their 16th point, and EG (6-2-4) remain ahead by two games with 21. Both were coming off of shutout victories against 7-4-2 DII teams with EG beating Cranston East 1-0 and Chariho winning 5-0 over Lincoln.
They’ll each have to take their solo point, but both teams could have used the three points – giving them six in a week – for a win in a division where the third-place team and the eighth-place team are only separated by eight points.
“We played really well last Friday against Cranston East,” EG head coach Pat McGuirl said. “We didn’t play well [on Tuesday], but we’ll take the point and move on. At this time of year, you take all the points you can get.”
“We had a goal called back in the first half,” McGuirl continued. “The kids just kind of got deflated. There’s nothing you can do about it, the referee isn’t going to change his mind.”
Off an early indirect kick, EG just missed the net on a high feed coming from the right wing. Trying the practiced set piece again after another Charger foul, they executed a three-man combination to make it 1-0 in the 11th minute.
“[Sophomore defenseman] Aydin Kocak hit the long ball into the box,” McGuirl explained. “[Senior forward] Cole Batista flicked it and [freshman] Carson Paull was able to put it in.”
EG tried a similar play a short time later, with Kocak lifting the ball over the multi-colored jersey traffic in front of the net. Charger senior Cam Anderson was in regular stopper fashion, ending with eight saves, and wouldn’t be fooled twice.
“I’m not sure what happened [on their goal],” Charger head coach Les Ahern said. “Our goalie is one of the best; he’s fantastic. It wasn’t his best night, but he only gave up the one goal, sometimes those just happen.”
Chariho didn’t wait long as sophomore Dylan Jessop matched on a breakaway in the 16th minute with an assist from senior Ryan Allen.
“We’re glad to get the early goal,” Ahern said. “But we had some opportunities late that I’m disappointed we didn’t finish.”
“Their goalie had a great game,” Ahern said. “He was on his A-game. He made some good saves. But we took a couple of bad hits – over the top and on the right. A couple times we were coming up, and they would have been hard saves, but we didn’t produce the shot.”
“We’ve got to produce better on corner kicks,” Ahern said. “They were pretty packed-in defensively, but we had 18 corners in the game.”
In a match with as many combined yellow cards as goals, finding space in the scoring third was difficult on both sides. Shifting the shot balance from the first, the Chargers put on more pressure, took more shots and had more open looks in the second half. But the result was the same with both defenses rallying out of a few dangerous predicaments to preserve second half shutouts.
Sophomore Carter Andrews stopped 12 in net for EG, who’ve had four goalies split time and play well this season.
EG visits Burrillville (7-2-2; 23 points) on Friday, October 19 at 3:30 p.m. Chariho host top-ranked North Smithfield (11-0; 33 points) on the same day at 6:00 p.m.