WEST CALDWELL, NJ - The Chatham boys soccer team could have taken the dark skies and rain as a bad omen for the season. But, despite the disappointing 1-0 opening loss at Caldwell on Wednesday, the Cougars are optimistic and a little angry at letting the game slip away.
"It was a good game, good fighting," Chatham forward Andrea Chevalier said. "I think we could win this game easily, but that's fine. Let's see the next game (Friday at Morristown)."
Chevalier, a junior from France, made his debut for the Cougars and it was his ability to create chances that has the Chatham team looking forward to better results, starting with an away game Friday at Morristown.
"The goals are coming," Chatham coach Mark Maka said. "Their goalkeeper had a phenomenal first half. He had three very good saves. We had our chances. Credit to him and them for fighting through it. I think they only had the one shot on goal."
That one chance for Caldwell came 3:41 into the second half and Carson Filion put it away for the only goal as keeper Thomas Healy made it stand up with eight saves.
In the first half, Chatham had a number of good opportunities to take the lead. Senior Brian Guimond hit a header over the crossbar on a corner kick taken by Nick DiMaggio and Chevalier put a lot of pressure on the Caldwell defense.
"He looks like he's all in right now," Maka said of Chevalier. "He's been a nice addition. We talk about four areas when we go through the tryout process and what we evaluate as coaches and what we look for. One of the four main criteria is your personality and your character. I think his personality brings something positive to the group."
Andrea Chevalier runs onto a through pass and battles Caldwell goalie Thomas Healy for the ball
Chatham striker Andrea Chevalier takes a shot at the equalizer in the second half vs. Caldwell
Aeden Joel hits his shot wide of the goal for Chatham in the second half
Brian Guimond's header off Nick DiMaggio's corner kick sails over the crossbar in the first half for Chatham