CHARLESTON — The Charleston Trojans pulled off an upset victory against their Coles County rival on Thursday evening, winning 2-0 over the Mattoon Green Wave.
Charleston and Mattoon battled it out in the first half; strong defensive performances didn’t allow one goal to be scored on either side. Charleston’s offensive game picked up four minutes into the second half as freshman Blake Garrett assisted senior Jack Thain to score the first goal of the night.
The Trojans didn’t stop there. Blake Garrett struck another goal attempt with 10 minutes left in the game but was blocked by Mattoon’s goalie. With less than five minutes left, an assist from Charleston sophomore Jordan Socarras to senior Jack McGrath led to the team’s second goal to put the home team ahead 2-0.
The Green Wave refused to give up and kept the ball moving, but Charleston’s defensive measures came out on top. The Charleston team counted down the last seconds of the game along the sideline, to conclude this rivalry game with an emotional gathering.
Charleston head coach Josh Garrett said he knows the importance of savoring the moment since he was a player on the first Charleston team to defeat Mattoon in school history. “All season I told the team how I’ll never forget that game,” Garrett said. “Mattoon is such a great team, so it’s great for the seniors to win it on senior night under the lights for the last time in their regular season.”
Reflecting on the senior class, Garrett spoke highly of their contributions and character on and off the field. “They’re all great kids, and such great leaders for the rest of the younger kids on the team,” Garrett said. “How they treat the freshmen really shows their maturity. They just treat them like any other teammate.”
Josh Garrett said he’s pleased with the senior class’s leadership on and off the field. “We’re not only proud of them for being soccer players, but also for being great individuals,” Garrett said. “They’re going to be great leaders in the community someday.”
Charleston senior Pedro Carrillo summed up the senior class’s emotion after game. “This was the first time I got to beat Mattoon, so this was just a really special game,” Carrillo said. “For three years we hadn’t beaten them, so this just feels great.”
Carrillo also commented on the team’s progression over the season. “It was a rough start to our season, but it feels great to come back and beat them tonight,” Carrillo said.
Josh Garrett was pleased with the team’s progress since the last matchup against Mattoon, in which they lost to their opponent 4-0. “We barely put in any subs tonight, they all gave it their all,” Garrett said. “We basically played everyone until they could barely walk.”
The Trojans now head into postseason play with a record of 9-8-2.
Mattoon ends the regular season at 17-3-2 overall and 10-1-1 in the conference.