The wind was whipping and the temperature was dipping, but Richmond boys soccer team couldn’t have come out any hotter against Yale.
Scoring four goals in the first 20 minutes of the game en route to a 5-0 win, the Blue Devils remained perfect in conference play with their 8-0 BWAC record. The Bulldogs BWAC record drops to 5-4 on the season.
Hailing in from Denmark, Alexander Meiniche netted two goals for Richmond to lead the team in scoring. Brandon Kunce, Graham Barton and Brandon VanGorp also scored one goal each.
For Yale, the back line of Nick Behem, Robby Rutkofske and Nathan Trombley stepped up to keep the Blue Devils quiet in the final 60 minutes of the game. Goalkeeper Cody Kegley also put on the goalie shirt after Richmond’s fourth goal and gave his team six saves.
Despite not losing in regulation since August, both Meiniche and Richmond head coach Lance Whitney believes the performance can be cranked up even higher before the state tournament begins.
“I actually think we can do better,” Meiniche said. “We have some injuries on the squad, and we are playing really good, but we can improve it.”
Meiniche’s first goal of the game came six minutes into the contest when Matt Schuster threaded him a pass by two defenders. All Meiniche had to do was chip it in from short range – a lot easier than a long shot against the strong wind in Richmond’s face in the first half.
Kunce then doubled the lead to 2-0 with a 12 yard blast six minutes after the first goal. Three minutes later Meiniche’s second goal came off a long cross by VanGorp to make it 3-0.
The first half goal fest was capped off when Barton made a charge at the net, sneaking a groundball shot passed the goalkeeper to put an exclamation point on the game’s beginning.
“You score four goals in the first half against the wind, you’d expect to come out and dominate in the second half,” Whitney said. “But credit to them, they did a lot better in the second half than the first half, and it was an even game.”
In the second half the ball spent a lot of time on Yale’s end, but the defense would clear it out to deny Richmond whenever there was a threat. On the other end, Richmond’s back line of Brandon Jacques, Steven Gil and Evan Quigley did a sound job of hardly allowing the ball to reach the 18 yard box.
The ball was down there so rarely that Richmond goalkeeper Allan Szczesniak was only called on for two saves.
The final goal was belted in by VanGorp on a penalty kick, booting it as good as one can just inside the right goal post.
Although Yale took the loss, that doesn’t take away from the solid 2-1 win over Imlay City on Monday.
“Our guys are raising the level of play and every practice are continuing to improve,” Yale head coach Pat Egan said. “Even this game here, we didn’t play a full (minutes), we just played 60. But if we played a full 80, maybe the outcome could’ve been a little different tonight.”
Contact Matt Sheehan at (810)-989-6267 or [email protected] He’s on Twitter @Sheehan_Sports.