September 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM
CHATHAM, NJ – The Mendham High School boys soccer team scored three goals over a span of five minutes in the first half to win their fourth game of the year, 3-1, over Chatham on Thursday at Cougar Field.
Minutemen senior Gavin Coutts scored twice to take the team lead with six goals on the year.
“We needed it,” Mendham head coach Russ Raffay said. “We were inconsistent. We would win one, then lose one. Win one, then lose one. Our goal now is to get a couple in a row. We had a good practice yesterday and reevaluated where we were. They played tough against a solid Chatham squad.”
Chatham gained momentum early in the game when one of the forwards broke through the back line in the third minute, but his goal was wiped off the board due to an offside call.
In the 10th minute, another Cougar header, this time in traffic, went over the crossbar.
After the two close calls on defense, the Mendham offense sent three shots into the back of the net in less than five minutes.
Despite being nervous about the first 15 minutes, Raffay came away impressed with how his team responded.
“Its always a concern of any coach, the first 15 minutes,” Raffay said. “We played kind of soft the first 15, that’s because of the respect for the other team. Then they realized they can play with them and hang with them. They found their groove.”
Senior Malcolm Montilus struck first when he dribbled his way around the defense, beating Chatham keeper Henry Stusnick to the left.
Less than two minutes later, Coutts ripped a shot off a center-cross over Stusnick’s left shoulder to give the Minutemen a two-goal advantage.
Coutts added his second goal in the 18th minute on a one-timer off a free kick from the corner.
Chatham broke the shutout in the 64th minute, but could not get any closer, falling to 1-3-2 on the season.
Mendham improves to 4-3 with the victory.