ROCKINGHAM — Not making the necessary adjustments at halftime cost the Richmond Senior boys soccer team its chance to move on to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A State Playoffs.
Neither team was able to score a goal in the first half of Saturday’s game, but A.L. Brown found its groove in the last 40 minutes and grabbed a 4-0 victory over Richmond in the first-round matchup.
“We didn’t play very well,” coach Bennie Howard after the game. “We were outplayed tonight — in every stage of the game. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”
After A.L. Brown scored its first goal, Howard says his players became frustrated and began to drop their heads. And that’s when the Wonders “popped in” another one to take a 2-0 lead.
The Raiders made a few on-field adjustments and began fighting back, but a couple of costly mistakes in the back resulted in two more goals for the visiting team. Howard eventually cleared the bench.
Senior Alex Alvarado recorded three shots on the night, Victor Lucero recorded two and Carlos Alcacor and Carter Roberson each took one shot. Corey Smith saved 11 of A.L. Brown’s 15 shots.
Saturday’s first-round defeat was Richmond’s first loss in 37 days — it fell 5-4 at Jack Britt on Aug. 29.
“This can’t define our year,” Howard added. “15 wins and a conference championship ain’t bad. I’m proud of our seniors.”
On the season, Richmond scored 79 goals, racked up 37 assists and 195 points.
Alcacor led the way in goals (22) and points (44), while Roberson had a team-high nine assists on the year. Alvarado was second in goals (13) and points (32) and Lucero came in behind Roberson with seven helpers. Smith had 106 of the teams 126 saves.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.