Rams suffer loss

Published 3:54 pm Monday, April 4, 2011

AHOSKIE – Just a minor setback – hopefully.

On a chilly and windy day where it seemed like there were more players on the pitch than degrees on the thermometer, the Lady Rams soccer squad of Ridgecroft School suffered their second straight loss – and second shutout – on the young season when they were blanked Friday at Mike Bryant Field by Epiphany School, 4-0.

The twin losses come after Ridgecroft won its first four games to open the season and it was also their second setback in Coastal Plains Independent Conference (CPIC) action.

The Falcons outshot the Rams, 10-8, with Epiphany goal-keeper, Dana McLaughlin collecting four saves while Ridgecroft goalie, Hayley Rivera turned away a quartet of attempts as well.

Miller Bryant and Mary-joe Harrell paced the Rams with three shots apiece, though none found the back of the net.

“We’re still young and inexperienced,” said Ridgecroft Coach Aron Martin, “but it’s a work in progress. I really thought we’d play a little bit better against this team, and not to take anything away from Epiphany, but I don’t feel like we had our best effort.

“The will is there,” he added, “but we just have to find a technical scheme that’s going to work for us.”

The Lady Falcons wasted little time getting on the board to open the contest. Hayley Ward scored for the visitors in the sixth minute when it looked as if Ridgecroft had blown a defensive assignment. The miscue left the home team trailing, 1-0.

During the 20th minute, Ridgecroft had their best first attempt at knotting the score when Bryant took a header on a throw-in, but the errant ball scampered across the wet grass just left of the post, leaving the Rams still trailing in the early going.

Three and a half minutes later, Ward tickled the twine for a second time as she put a foot on a rebound off the post during a scramble in the box after a scoring attempt,

In the final 13 minutes of the half, the Rams had three more attempts to get on the board.  Bryant had one attempt go just wide-right of the post while another struck the crossbar and bounced away. Harrell had an attempt stopped by the keeper at the 29th minute.

So the 2-0 score held up through halftime.

Ridgecroft came out attacking to open the second stanza, but Alex Riddick’s attempt was wide. More unfortunately for the Rams, it came just before Toni Fishel scored a third goal for the Falcons to put Ridgecroft further behind.

The Rams had three more attempts in the game, but there were two errant balls that missed the mark and another that was stopped by the Epiphany keeper.

Epiphany got a late goal to make for the final score and their first league win of the season.

“We were older, we were bigger, and the officials let them play a physical game more than maybe some other refs might,” said Epiphany coach Drew D’Angelo. “Ridgecroft has some really skilled players up front so they’ll be pretty good going forward.”

“Quite honestly,” said Martin, “they never gave up and they knew this was one of those days when things didn’t go their way. They were unselfish and they did a good job of sharing the ball.

“We just have to find that way to compete on a higher level,” he concluded.  “And we will.”