SOUTHERN PINES — A physical, back-and-forth match between the Richmond and Pinecrest boys’ soccer teams ended in a one-goal loss for the Raiders on Wednesday.
Continuing Sandhills Athletic Conference play, the Raiders allowed a second-half goal to fall to the Patriots 1-0.
The match wasn’t without its fair share of scoring chances for Richmond, which also played the final 30 minutes down a player due to a double yellow card.
“It was back and forth in the first half, with a few good scoring opportunities for both teams,” head coach Chris Larsen said. “Our best chance came when Gonzalo Morales took a strike from 35 yards and hit the crossbar.
“We also had a chance in the final 10 minutes when a bouncing ball rebounded off the keeper and Samuel Hawks and Jullian Cline just missed putting it in the back of the net.”
The Raiders had a player draw his second yellow card of the match in the 50th minute, forcing Richmond to play 10-on-11 the rest of the way. Larsen said despite the disadvantage, the team was able to compete with the Patriots.
Five minutes into the man-down situation, Pinecrest (2-4, 1-0 SAC) scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 55th minute. Following a foul, a cross to the back post was headed into the net past sophomore keeper Adrian Padron.
“It took us a little bit of time to get settled in after we had to play down a player,” Larsen said. “That’s always a hard situation to get used to, but the guys never quit and managed to get a couple of chances on net.”
Junior striker James Eason had a breakaway chance down the left sideline that saw his shot miss just wide and go into the side netting.
A couple of minutes later, sophomore forward Noah Gil was fouled “on the edge of the 18-yard box,” a call Larsen said could have gone either way. Taking the free kick was junior Danny Jaimes, whose shot was stopped.
In the closing two minutes, the Raiders got two corner kicks, with one resulting in another close call. Junior Diego Mendez and Hawks both made a play on the ball that Larsen said appeared to cross the goal line.
But the keeper ”batted the ball out” and the officials ruled that the ball never crossed the line. Larsen said it was a “hard call to make from 40 yards,” and that the Raiders “couldn’t get that lucky bounce” to score.
Richmond (2-4-1, 1-1 SAC) will return to action with a non-conference home match against Piedmont High School (6-0-2) on Thursday. The varsity only match will start at 6 p.m.
JV Raiders shut out by JV Patriots
The Richmond junior varsity boys’ soccer team lost 4-0 to Pinecrest on Wednesday.
Scoring one goal in the first half, Pinecrest added three more goals in the final 35 minutes of play.
“We didn’t play our best game and the kids still want to play soccer that’s not my way,” coach Bennie Howard said.
“We laid an egg tonight. Hopefully we’ll have a good practice tomorrow and get ready for Hoke County on Monday. We have a lot of things to work out to get back on track.”
The JV Raiders (1-2-2, 0-1 SAC) will play another conference game at home against the Bucks on Monday at 5 p.m.
Note: Chris Larsen, Bennie Howard and Shannon Mabe contributed to this article.