Patriots Derail Raiders in Soccer
The Richmond Senior Raiders fell victim to coach Todd Abbey’s potent Pinecrest Patriot offense in a lopsided boys’ soccer conference game at the John Williams Athletic Field on Monday night by the score of 9-0.
Senior Dane Nelsen had a hat trick to lead the way for Pinecrest.
The Patriots improved to 8-2-0 (4-0-0 in the Southeastern Conference) with the win, while the Raiders fell to 3-7-1 overall and 1-3-0 in the conference.
Pinecrest now visits Hoke County Wednesday, sitting atop the conference standings and as the newly ranked No. 15 team in the EurosportScoreboard.com State 4-A listing.
Senior midfielder Barrett Goulden was specific in talking about the Hoke County game. The Bucks are in second place in the league standings with a 3-0-1 record (9-4-1 overall).
“I really want to win this game,” said Goulden, who had a goal in the first half of the Richmond game. “We have not won at their field since I was a freshman. This means a lot to me.”
Nelsen opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first 11 minutes of play, with assists from Rene Cruz and Taylor Morton.
Morton also finished the evening with two goals and two assists.
“Coach told us to keep playing our game and get the quick, early goals,” Morton said. “We felt like once we got a comfortable lead, we could start possessing the ball. It felt like we had the ball 90-95 percent of the game.”
Goulden and Morton teamed up with a nice combination for the third goal, as Morton got away from his defender and lofted a pass, which resulted in a wide-open Goulden header.
Richard Palmer found a streaking Nelsen at the end line, who safely tucked it in the back of the net for his third goal in the 16th minute.
Morton was the recipient of a Jake Harbeck assist in the 32nd minute, which gave the Patriots the halftime lead at 5-0.
Early in the second half, he benefited from a nice chip shot on Palmer’s second assist and took the open shot as the Raider goalie came out of the box.
Two successful second-half penalty kicks by Hayden Little and Bryan Van Cleave, along with a hard shot by Harbeck from about 15 yards out, rounded out the Pinecrest scoring statistics. Jordan Beck was credited with an assist to Harbeck.
Senior goalkeepers Mitchell Dotson and J.T. Stilwell collaborated on the Patriots’ fifth shutout, as the Raiders failed to find their aim, while accumulating various infractions.
Both Goulden and Morton agreed that staying with the game plan — get out early with quick goals and then possess the ball — helped to keep the intensity throughout the game.
“I try to go all out during the entire game,” Morton explained. “It also helps that we have good team chemistry; I hope we carry that through to the Hoke game on Wednesday.”
For Goulden, one of the team’s 16 seniors, many of whom have played together since they were 5 years old, that is very important.
“There is a level of comfort on the field, because I have played with most of these guys for about 12 years,” the center midfielder said. “That definitely is part of the chemistry of this team.
“We seem to know where our teammates will be most of the time.”
Stephen Sawyer had two goals as coach Evan Saleeby’s junior varsity team won over the Raiders by a score of 4-0.
Other scores were credited to Mikey Tzavlas and Clay Richter.
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