Monday, 02 October 2017 23:41

Raiders Boys Soccer Get Shut Out Against No. 1 Pinecrest Featured

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RO File Photo: Sophomore Midfielder Noah Jordan. RO File Photo: Sophomore Midfielder Noah Jordan. Photo courtesy of Jimmy McDonald.

SOUTHERN PINES – In what has been a roller coaster season for the Richmond Senior High School boys soccer team, it hit another low Monday night as it fell to Sandhills Athletic Conference foe Pinecrest High School for the second time this season. The Raiders failed to get on the scoreboard, falling 2-0.

In what has been a far cry from its conference championship title run last season (15-3-1, 9-0-1), Richmond (8-5, 5-3 SAC) is currently on the outside of the state playoffs looking in. The Raiders have struggled this season to put the ball in the back of the net in big games, and losing to SAC-leader Pinecrest dimmed their chances even more of making a significant playoff push.

Entering Monday’s game, head coach Bennie Howard knew his players would be facing a tough opponent, but also knew that his players had the ability to muster a huge road conference win. Having lost to Pinecrest at home earlier this season 5-1, Howard emphasized how important the beginning and end of each half was to securing a victory.

“Before the game, I told the guys that the first and last five minutes of each half were most important,” Howard said. “I wanted them to realize how important it is to stay focused to open and close the halves. Unfortunately, those were the times we allowed Pinecrest to score. But overall, I’m proud of the way we played tonight, considering losing to them earlier in the season.”

Richmond played well against the Patriots (13-1-1, 9-0 SAC), managing the ball and being aggressive. Howard has noted that his team has also been playing better over the last two weeks, despite not winning all their games. But after several missed opportunities, it was Pinecrest that left the pitch victorious.

The Patriots scored one goal in each half, with the first score coming in the final five minutes of the first half. The goal in the second half came five minutes into the start of the half. Howard noted that each goal was a result of defensive mistakes out of the back. Richmond turnovers provided Pinecrest with the opportunity to score both goals.

The Raiders have five remaining conference matches on the season, and Howard acknowledged that if they win all five, and do well in the conference tournament, they might have a slim chance to make the playoffs.

The junior varsity team (6-4, 3-3 SAC) was also shutout by Pinecrest 3-0. The Raiders trailed 2-0 at the half, and sophomore forward Luke Hawks got a chance to score on a penalty kick, but had it stopped by the Patriot’s goalkeeper.

Both Raiders teams are back in action at home Wednesday, as they’ll welcome Jack Britt High School(5-7-2, 5-2 SAC). The varsity and junior varsity teams lost to the Buccaneers in heartbreaking fashion earlier in the season. Jack Britt played Monday, and will also play Tuesday before making the journey to Richmond. Howard hopes to see some “tired legs.” Junior varsity kicks off at 5:15 p.m., followed by varsity at 7 p.m.

 


Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_