RICHMOND — It was a day of celebration at Richmond High School.
On the same day the Richmond girls soccer team earned the right to play for its fourth straight Class D title, the Richmond boys beat Greenville 5-0 at Coughlin Field on Wednesday to earn a berth in the state championship game for the first time in three years.
Richmond (13-2-2) will play Bangor Christian for the Class D state championship on Saturday at McMann Field in Bath. The Patriots defeated Easton 3-1 Wednesday to win the Eastern D title.
This will be the sixth appearance in the state championship game for the Bobcats in the last eight years. The last time the Bobcats played for a state championship was 2010, when Richmond fell 5-2 to Bangor Christian. Richmond last won the state title in 2007, when the Bobcats defeated Ashland 3-1.
A second-half, four-goal surge sealed the win for the Bobcats. Sam Lorbeski led the offensive attack, scoring two goals. Coupled with the standout play of goalkeeper Dustin Sullivan, who made six saves for the shutout, it was Richmond’s day.
“I like this team this year because we’re deeper,” Richmond coach Joe Scribellito said. “We don’t rely on any one goal scorer out there. I got six guys out there that I can put at striker. I have enough confidence that they’re going to execute when they’re out there. It allows us to keep guys in the middle fresh and run in on people. That’ll be a part of our gameplan Saturday, too.”
Lorbeski scored the lone goal of the first when his shot from the left sideline about 20 yards out went over the head of Greenville keeper Howard Stone.
“I think the goal kind of picked up the tempo and intensity,” Lorbeski said. “Like, ‘We have this.’ So we just got right back into it and started scoring goals left and right.”
Richmond added its second tally five minutes into the second half, when Mike Stewart sent a beautiful cross to Brendan Emmons, who headed it into the net. The Bobcats added another goal five minutes after, when Nate Tribbet kicked a loose ball in front of the net past backup goalkeeper Matt Mendez. Nate’s brother, Cody, added the next goal, rebounding a Stewart shot off Mendez. Lorbeski added the final goal with two minutes remaining, a shot from the left from about 15 yards out.
“We weren’t shooting enough in the first half, that was one of the first things that we talked about,” Scribellito said. “It’s time to let loose. And I think some of the kids like running into the wind. When they do that, it’s a sailing job after that. They worked real hard for home-field advantage, because they really use the width of this field. It’s 70 yards, which creates a lot of opportunities when you have space.”
Almost all of Sullivan’s six saves were diving stops. Since a 5-0 loss to North Yarmouth Academy on Sept. 24, Sullivan has allowed three goals and has eight shutouts.
“I’ve had a clean slate throughout the playoffs,” Sullivan said. “I just want to keep it that way.”
The win was a bit of revenge for the Bobcats, who were knocked out of last year’s playoffs by the Lakers in the semifinal round. Greenville had won the previous two Western Class D championships.
“We disappointed (last year), because we thought we were going to win,” Lorbeski said. “We kind of got payback this year, got right back in it and showed them what Richmond soccer really is.”
Greenville (12-4-1) used three different goalies during the game. Stone got the start and was replaced by Mendez after Richmond had a 2-0 lead. After Mendez allowed two goals, he was replaced by Stone, who manned the position for a few minutes before being replaced by Evan Sullivan. Stone and Sullivan each had two saves, while Mendez had one save.
The Bobcats move on to face a Bangor Christian team that is unbeaten (18-0-0) and has won the last four state championships.
“We have so much depth,” Sullivan said. “We can have anyone in there, sub anyone in, but we still have that strength in there, good layers and everything.”
Dave Dyer — 621-5639
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