WESTERLY — Both teams did some things they were pleased with. Both teams saw some things they need to improve on.
But for the first Division II boys soccer game of the season, it was a pretty well-played and evenly-matched contest that saw Westerly High and Chariho High played to a 1-1 tie at Augeri Field Monday night.
"It was back and forth. We had a lot of chances. Even on the corners we had some set plays and it was on our plate, but we couldn't finish," Westerly coach Brian Williams said. "We haven't had enough time to work on everything."
Chariho coach Les Ahern agreed it was an even contest.
"This game could have been a 4-4 tie," Ahern said. "We played well. It was finally great to get out of practice and into a game. We didn't have much movement in the first half, but in the second half we started getting that movement and I was pleased with that."
Chariho finished with eight shots on goal and the Bulldogs had seven.
All of the scoring in the game came in a 44-second span in the first half.
Chariho's got on the scoreboard first with 16:55 remaining in the first half. Rugged sophomore Jay Nilsson received a ball about 10 yards from goal on the right side.
He quickly put on a diagonal shot that hit off the left post and into the goal.
Westerly responded 44 seconds later to tie the game, 1-1.
A ball out of the midfield that was high in the air landed among a group of players about 10 yards from goal. One Westerly player got off a shot that Chariho keeper Jacob Linacre blocked.
The loose ball bounced off a player or two before Luke Gencarella, Westerly's top returning scorer, gained possession and scored from a few yards away with 16:11 left in the half.
Westerly's best chance to score again came in the final two minutes of the game when a drive off the foot of Nico Serluca nicked off the far right post.
Both teams had other chances in the second half to take the lead, but could not convert.
Westerly goalie John Healy came out past the 18-yard line to just beat a Chariho player to a ball with about 20 minutes remaining in the game. He also made a nice leaping save a few minutes later.
Chariho's Linacre also made several solid saves, including one in the first minute of the game from about 8 yards away.
Chariho's Devan Jessop won and controlled a number of balls from the midfield and the back. Westerly's Blake Busch created numerous opportunities using his foot skills to elude Chariho defenders.
"The effort was the most important thing tonight," Williams said. "We possessed the ball better than we usually have in the past. We kept our shape pretty well at times, but it comes and goes in waves.
"Once we have a full game of great shape, not having balls pop over our heads and not missing easy passes, we will be talking about a great game."
Ahern would like to see his team do a better job of distributing the ball from the midfield.
"Our possession is so much better and we see the field so much better when we have good touches on the ball, good passes and good movement," he said.
Chariho is off until Monday when it travels to the Wheeler School for a 4:15 p.m. game. Westerly travels to Cranston East on Saturday at 11 a.m.