ROCKINGHAM – As the Richmond Senior High School boys soccer team looks to repeat as Southeastern Conference champions this year, it got off to a slow star in Thursday’s scrimmage against North Moore High School.
The Raiders hosted the Mustangs in a pre-season matchup that saw the visiting team walk away with a 4-0 victory. Though the Raiders were not able to score, head coach Bennie Howard was not too discouraged.
“North Moore is a quality team, and it’s not the outcome we wanted,” Howard said. “However, everything we didn’t do well tonight can be corrected in practice.”
Howard expressed that his team will get “back to the drawing board” in practice Friday and Monday to address the lack of combination play down the middle of the field. The Raiders, who are without several starting senior defenders and midfielders from last season, are still finding their rhythm with the new roster. But Howard remains optimistic as he’s narrowed his search.
“I’m not overly concerned (moving forward),” Howard said. “We just need to be more decisive on the field and eliminate any uncertainty when moving the ball around.”
Due to heat during Thursday’s scrimmage, the match was broken up into four 20 minute quarters. All four potential keepers, seniors Marcos Acosta, Ben Morrison and Yash Patel, and junior Jackson Haley, played an entire quarter. Acosta and Patel each allowed one goal, while Haley let two in during the final 20 minutes.
In the first 40 minutes, Howard and his coaching staff were impressed with the offense getting shots on net, outshooting North Moore 10-2. But the Raiders couldn’t break into the scoring column, and Howard expressed it as “coming down to them scoring and we didn’t.”
Richmond will travel to St. Pauls High School in Robeson County on Tuesday, August 15, to open regular season non-conference play. The game is slated to start with junior varsity at 5:15 p.m., followed by varsity at 7 p.m.