ROCKINGHAM — Richmond coach Bennie Howard knew it was going to be a test for his team, but he was hoping for a better performance.
Pinecrest scored five times in the first half and added three more goals in the final 40 minutes to cruise past Richmond Monday night at Raider Stadium.
“When you don’t have the effort in the first half, you dig yourself a big hole like we did tonight,” Howard said. “I thought the second half was much better. I know he (Pinecrest coach Ray Blatz) made a bunch of substitutions and moving people around, which might have hurt their chemistry, but I thought we played better.”
Among the players Howard thought stood out in the second half was backup goalkeeper Kevyna Stanback, who made a handful of highlight-reel stops to keep the Raiders from being mercy ruled.
“She made some good saves and I thought Brittni (Faurot) played well,” Howard said. “Brittni’s defense let her down a couple of times in the first half.”
The Raiders have now lost two in a row to fall to 1-2 on the season, 0-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Despite the loss, Howard believes his team can continue to grow and improve.
“We will learn for this and keep playing,” Howard said. “We will keep working on the things we need to keep working on and get ready for the next game.”
Richmond will return to action 6 p.m. Wednesday when its travels to Bennettsville, S.C. to battle Marlboro County.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.