MATTOON -- The Mattoon Green Wave made easy work of Apollo Conference opponent Taylorville on Thursday afternoon picking up three points toward the race for the conference championship.
Seven players scored for Mattoon head coach Ryan Ghere’s team on the way to a 9-1 victory. The win moves the Green Wave to 16-2-2 on the season and 8-0-1 in conference play.
After losing 8-0 in the first matchup this season Taylorville head coach Brad Hodapp came into the game knowing it would be an uphill climb.
“We’ve seen them the last few years (now) and they’re usually on top of the conference,” he said. “They have a very strong team and can attack essentially from all parts of the field.”
Sophomore Tiago Lages started the scoring on an assist from Camdyn Considine in the second minute of play. Midfielder Shane Ghere followed with his lone goal of the game on an assist from Ethan Grasl in the 11th minute to put the Green Wave up 2-0.
Mattoon senior Hunter Warner notched his first career goals in the 34th (Zach Diebel) and added an unassisted goal two minutes later.
“It’s one of those things when you finally get to that point and you get in that rhythm, it’s relieving,” the senior said about the goals.
Warner credited his teammates for the goals and added how special the group was.
“The team is a family, whether you score goals or you don’t score goals,” he said. “It’s just good to be a part of something great and I think this team is something great.”
Mattoon’s other goals came from Ethan Grasl (11th, Chase Monroe); Jake Ghere (15th, Grasl); Devin Perry (20th and 22nd, J. Ghere) and Daniel Carpenter (40th, unassisted). Taylorville’s lone goal came after Mattoon’s Tiago Lages kicked a pass from teammate Skyler Hood into the net.
“It was kind of nice to go spread the wealth around a little bit,” Mattoon coach Ryan Ghere said. “We didn’t have one guy go out there and be selfish and try to get all the goals.”
Ghere credits his team’s focus on the bigger picture, the conference championship, to being able to stay focused in the lopsided wins.
“They know the big picture here,” he said. “It’s not tonight, it’s by the end of next week and then we can move on to the postseason.”
Mattoon faces Apollo Conference opponent Mt. Zion on Saturday before ending the regular season against Charleston on Thursday. A win in one of the two matches would guarantee the Green Wave a tie for the conference title while two wins would guarantee them the title.