RICHMOND – There’s always hope, especially when the tournament rolls around. But realistically Valley’s chances against the Richmond boys soccer team Wednesday were slim.

The Bobcats had already beaten the Cavaliers twice this season and their eyes always light up come tournament time.

It added up to a 9-0 win for second-seeded Richmond (10-4-0) that propelled it into Friday’s Class D South semifinal against No. 3 Searsport. No. 10 Valley finished 5-9-1.

Coming off an unbeaten state championship season, the Bobcats find themselves in unfamiliar territory this fall. They fell twice to Buckfield in the regular season, losing the top tournament seed in the process. Their quest Friday and beyond is to regain a little of the winning mojo they enjoyed a year ago.

They took a step in the right direction with a short, controlled passing game that yielded four goals in the first half and five in the second.

“(We) kind of run hot and cold in terms of playing together,” Richmond coach Peter Gardner said. “I think they’ve got themselves back into a situation, recognizing if they don’t they’re not as good a team.”

The Cavs found themselves playing defense throughout the game and as Gardner pointed out, “they just decided to go back and play too much defense and it put them in a hole.”

Senior striker Curtis Anderson put the Bobcats on the board seven minutes in when he knocked in a rebound off a shot by Brendan Emmons, who set up the sequence with a nice run past two defenders down the left side.

“I just really wanted to put the ball in the back of the net,” said Anderson, who headed in a cross from Emmons later in the half.

Valley goalkeeper Dillon Beane made eight saves in the first half but he faced just too much firepower from the amped-up Bobcats.

Tyler Soucy converted a penalty kick and Matt Holt drilled a shot from the top of the circle that Beane had no time to react to.

While Gardner emptied his ample bench throughout the game, Valley coach Adam Farnum had barely enough bodies to fill a team. With well under 75 students in the school, fielding a team each year is iffy.

“This is actually the second year we’ve had just a guys soccer team,” Farnum said. “I’ve had to pull up three eighth-graders to help us out. The game here might not have looked it, but overall I feel great about the year. They improved a lot.”

The Bobcats continued their assault on the Valley net in the second half. Zach Small, who played the first half in goal, scored twice, Brady Johnson, Nate Kendrick and Nick Adams each scored once.

The Bobcats beat Searsport twice in the regular season while losing a pair of close games to Bucksport.

“It’s pretty tough to go over there and play,” junior Cody Tribbet said of playing on the smaller field at Bucksport. “But we can do it.”

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