RICHMOND — There’s a reason Greenville strikers Henry Hersey and Tristan Richards have combined for 62 goals this season. The two seniors have played together since middle school and are usually the two quickest players on the field.

Richards scored two goals, including the game-winner, while Hersey had the other in Greenville’s 3-2 win against Richmond in a Western Maine Class D semifinal soccer game Friday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Lakers (9-7-0) face the winner of today’s game between Buckfield and Pine Tree Academy for the Western Maine championship Wednesday while top-seeded Richmond finishes at 14-1-0.

Despite the seedings and the records, this was no upset. The Lakers forfeited six games, including a 3-1 win at Richmond, due to an ineligible player on their roster. The Bobcats later beat the Lakers 2-1 in Greenville.

“We treated this like it was (the) Western Maine (championship),” Richards said. “Normally it’s us two that end up in the Western Maine game. It’s just the way the Heal points worked out. We’re the two best teams in Western Maine.”

Richards scored his game-winner 25 minutes into the second half on a direct kick. The Bobcats had tied the game 2-all six minutes earlier on Randy Moody’s second goal of the game. Richards beat Richmond keeper Dustin Sullivan to the near post from about 20 yards out on a ball that nose-dived and skipped into the net

“I was just trying to aim for that close post but it dipped down, skipped and luckily got in,” Richards said.

The goal was the 29th of the season for Richards, who also scored 11 minutes into the game after beating a defender down the right side.

“Those two guys got us,” Richmond coach Joe Scribellito said. “They’re opportunistic. Any time we made a mistake, they were able to capitalize.”

Both teams had good scoring chances, especially in the first half.

Richmond defender Sean Bernier saved a goal with a sliding stop after Sullivan came way out of his net on a breakaway by Richards. Later in the half, Greenville keeper Cory Henderson stopped leading scorer Eddie Stewart on a clean breakaway.

Moody tied the game at 1 with his 18th goal of the season when he headed in Nate Tribbett’s corner kick. The Lakers came right back with Hersey scoring after getting past the defense and beating Sullivan to the ball.

“(Richards) tried to tip it in to me and it bounced off the back of a defender,” Hersey said. “It just popped up to me and I put it in.”

Both teams finished with 11 shots on goal with Sullivan making seven saves and Henderson eight.

“We’ve got some quality players,” Scribellito said. “One thing about it, we only have four seniors on this team. Next year maybe . . . it will be our year.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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