Home Local Sports Early mistakes cost Raiders in loss to Pinecrest

Early mistakes cost Raiders in loss to Pinecrest

Senior defenders Cameron Way (23) and Ben DeAguilar (2) contest Pinecrest's Ben Velevis during Thursday's match.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — A couple of early mistakes by the Richmond Raider soccer team during Thursday’s match against Pinecrest High School led to the team’s second straight loss, head coach Chris Larsen said.

Hosting the Patriots in a Sandhills Athletic Conference makeup game from Wednesday, the Raiders fell 8-1.

Richmond allowed five goals in the first half, before scoring its lone goal in the opening minutes of the second stanza. Pinecrest (6-1, 1-0 SAC) added its final three goals in the closing 40 minutes.

“Whenever we make mistakes against a quality team like Pinecrest, they’re going to capitalize on them,” Larsen said. “That happened tonight starting with the first goal, and I won’t say it set the tone, but it led to another quick goal for them.

“I told the guys we made three or four mistakes in the first half, and Pinecrest scored three of their five goals on those mistakes.”

Pinecrest was led by seniors Gerald Ofosu and Landon McMinimy, who each recorded a hat trick in the win. Both players had two goals in the first half and registered their final respective tally in the second half.

Also scoring for the Patriots in the first half was Chris Phasukkan on a penalty kick, and Nick Fidandis added the last goal in the 48th minute.

Trailing 5-0 to start the second half, senior midfielder Alex Medina got Richmond on the board. Fellow senior Luke Williams took a shot on frame that was deflected wide by goalkeeper Nate Kallgren, setting up a corner kick.

Taking the set piece from the right corner, Medina laced a shot on frame in the 42nd minute. The ball was curving toward the net and bounced off the keeper’s hands and under the crossbar for his third goal of the season.

Alex Medina’s shot approaches the net on his goal off a corner kick in the 42nd minute. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

“I was happy with the way we didn’t drop our heads in the second half and scored a goal pretty quickly,” Larsen said. “That’s our first goal on a true corner this year, which is always good to see. Anytime we get the ball inside the six-yard box, you never know what’s going to happen.

“We try to find the bright spots when we can on a night like this. A lot of guys got some playing time and saw what that next level speed is like. I don’t think the score truly indicated the way we played.”

Senior center back Cameron Way noted Pinecrest’s speed on the wings was something the Raiders’ back line had to adjust to throughout the game.

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“They had good ball movement and they were consistent with through balls on just about every run they made,” Way, who had two early kick saves inside the box, said. “They were also fast, so we’ll need to adjust to that and play better next time.

“Now we know we have to be faster in everything we do. Communication is the biggest key, I think. We’re not on the same page at the same time, so we need to work on that for next week.”

Senior goalkeeper Ian Williams played the first half of Thursday’s match, making several nice saves, including a sliding save against Billy Donze inside the box.

Larsen inserted junior keeper Ethan McDonald for the final 40 minutes, who impressed with a handful of athletic saves to limit Pinecrest’s scoring opportunities.

“I’ve got confidence in both Ian and Ethan, and I give Ian the nod most of the time because of his experience,” Larsen said. “Ethan made some good stops tonight, and every minute he can get will help him.”

Ian Williams comes off his line to block a shot attempt by Billy Donze in the first half. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Richmond (2-5, 0-2 SAC) will prepare for another conference game on Monday at home against Hoke County High School (7-2, 1-1 SAC). The game will begin at 7 p.m.

“We’ve had some common opponents and they’ve played in some tight ball games, but it’s hard to tell until we play them,” Larsen closed. “The biggest thing is we have to play our game and play as a cohesive unit.

“Regardless of the circumstances, we need to find 11, 12 or 13 guys who can perform. If the guys do what I ask 80 percent of the time, I think we’ll be successful.”

JV Raiders suffer first loss of season

The Richmond junior varsity soccer team saw its six-game winning streak come to an end Thursday, falling 3-0 to Pinecrest.

Leading 1-0 at the half, the Patriots tacked on two more goals in the second half.

The JV Raiders will also play Hoke County on Monday at 5 p.m. It will be the second meeting this season, with Richmond winning the first matchup 4-2 last Wednesday.