Pinecrest Patriots

Game 17

Pinecrest at
Richmond County
Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
Raider Stadium, Rockingham, NC
Richmond County Raiders
Goals: Tyler Dawson 2, Max Brenner, Jack Talton, Michael Hieronymus,
   Tommy DiThomasso (PC)
Assists: Coby Kavanaugh 2, Jack Talton, Matt Carriker, Tyler Dawson,
    Ryan Osterman (PC)
Pinecrest      2    4  -  6
Richmond     0    1  -  1

By Dean Parziale: Special to The Pilot, Appeared Friday, October 12th, 2007
     With the Mid-Southeastern Conference regular-season boys' soccer top spot on the line Wednesday in Rockingham, the Pinecrest Patriots squeezed off a 6-1 victory over the Richmond Raiders.
     Pinecrest entered the contest sporting a perfect 9-0 league mark, while the Raiders were 8-1, with the lone loss coming to Pinecrest earlier this season. With four conference games remaining, the Patriots are in the driver's seat for winning their 11th consecutive conference title.
     Overall, the Patriots improved to a lofty 13-2-1 record in a game where an early Pinecrest attack opened up scoring opportunities for the visitors.
     "It's always good to score first and early," said Pinecrest coach Larry Martin after the important victory. "The game became wide open, which really worked in our favor."
     The match was played before an impressive Raiders home crowd of near 500 fans rooting for an upset and a fine traveling contingent of Pinecrest parents and body-painted superfans.
     The upset-minded Raiders were slowed when Pinecrest posted its first tally just four minutes into the contest. Senior captain Coby Kavanaugh played a ball through the Raider defense that classmate Tyler Dawson streaked onto down the right wing and blasted underneath the keeper for 1-0 Patriot lead.
     Richmond quickly pressed the attack looking to equalize, forcing Pinecrest keeper Brad McKeever to make two acrobatic saves and survive an indirect free kick within his own penalty area.
     Pinecrest created breathing room in the 30th minute, as a sharp combination of passes led to its second goal. The score started with sophomore Jack Talton getting the ball to junior Matt Carriker, who picked out sophomore Max Brenner at the top of the penalty area. Brenner unleashed a wicked left-footed shot that beat the keeper to the right post for a 2-0 lead the Patriots would take to the break.
     The halftime recharged the Richmond side, as the Raiders fired up their fans with a score just two minutes into the restart.
     Some fine ball movement by the Raiders created a pointblank shot that McKeever turned away. The rebound, however, landed at the foot of a Raider, who tucked it home, narrowing the margin to 2-1.
     Pinecrest's response was near instant, when a mere two minutes later Kavanaugh lofted a throw-in to the goal front that the Raider keeper could not fully punch away. The ball, fortunately, wound up at Dawson's feet, who was all alone and simply had to pass into the back of the empty net for 3-1 Patriot lead.
     Dawson, who had missed the previous five matches nursing an injury, created the forth Patriot score in the 50th minute, nimbly beating his defender at the end line and picking out an unmarked Talton seven yards out, who blasted it home. Senior Michael Hieronymus earned the Patriots' fifth in the 55th minute, when he was fouled 24 yards from goal. The senior made like Beckham, and bent the resulting free kick around the wall of defenders and just inside the right post.
     Five minutes from full-time, junior Tommy DiThomasso completed the scoring with a well-placed cross delivered by sophomore Ryan Osterman to finish the scoring at 6-1.
     Martin had praise for both his team and its opponent.
     "I had asked the guys to believe in themselves, go out there with high energy and they delivered," the veteran coach said. "Richmond is a much better team than the final score indicates. Scoring happens in wide open games."
     Earlier, the Pinecrest junior varsity squad rallied to defeat the Richmond jayvees 2-1, with second-half scores from Gray Anderson and Kevin Grasso lifting Patriot underclassmen to a sterling 15-1 record.
     Pinecrest entertains third-place Hoke County Monday at the John Williams Athletics Complex, The jayvee teams kick off the action at 5:30 p.m., with the varsity contest following at 7 p.m.

Season:   Goals Scored: 56    Goals Allowed: 15     Overall Record: 13-2-1    Conference Record: 10-0-0

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