ROCKINGHAM — Thursday night’s scrimmage against North Moore was a tough one for the Richmond Senior boys soccer team, which never found a way to put the ball in the back of the net.
The Raiders had plenty of opportunities but weren’t able to capitalize when the shots came. North Moore would take advantage of their struggles and grab a 4-0 victory, shutting Richmond out on its home field.
The scrimmage was broken down into four 20-minute quarters instead of two 40-minute halves.
“I didn’t keep a record of the shots, but we had to have outshot them 10-3, maybe, in the first 60 minutes,” head coach Bennie Howard said. “People think it’s easy to score in soccer, but sometimes it ain’t and tonight we proved it.”
Patrick Hamilton’s shot with less than seven minutes to go in the first quarter was likely the Raiders’ best chance to put points on the board in the early going. Not even a minute later, Carlos Alcocer had decent look on a free kick but it was blocked by the opposing goalie.
North Moore would score its first goal with 1:52 left in the first quarter after its shot bounced off the home team’s goalie and into the back of the goal — putting the Mustangs ahead 1-0.
There were more Richmond shots that came close but just didn’t hit mark, like a couple other shots from both Hamilton and Alcocer that happened to sail over the top of the goal after they each found themselves in good positions.
The shot that summed up the Raiders night was a late attempt that looked to be sailing over the goalie’s head and into the back of the net, but clanked off the cross bar and back into the field of play — drawing a deep sigh from the home crowd.
“We held possession a lot, but we just couldn’t score,” Howard said.
North Moore’s second score was a shot from the right side that slid under the arm of the home team’s goalie in the 13th minute of the second quarter. It would spread its final two goals over the last two quarters.
“Hats off to them, they’re a good team,” Howard added.
Aside from the scoring woes, Howard believes the team’s passes and touches weren’t up to par throughout the game, saying he doesn’t think the team put together “two or three passes all night long.” He also mentioned that the team didn’t play as a cohesive unit.
“I saw some individualism tonight. You can’t win soccer games being individuals,” Howard said. “And that’s something that’s correctable. So we’re going to work on that tomorrow and Monday, because we open up (the season) on Tuesday.”
Richmond kicks off its season next Tuesday, Aug. 15, at St. Pauls and then hosts Forest Hills on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.