RICHMOND — When the Bobcats are rolling, they can make the game look awfully easy.

Richmond was in fine form Tuesday afternoon as it cruised to a 5-0 East/West Conference boys soccer win over Rangeley at Coughlin Field. Freshman Justin Vachon scored two goals, while Trystin Shea, Dustan Simmons and Nathan Kendrick also added goals for the Bobcats, who improved to 7-1-0 on the season.

“We’re really happy. We’re playing pretty well,” Richmond senior midfielder Brendan Emmons said. “There’s definitely room for improvement in certain areas, but it’s satisfying.”

Particularly in the first half, Rangeley (2-4-2) offered little resistance to the Bobcat attack. Richmond scored in just the second minute of play off the foot of Vachon in the Lakers’ 18-yard box. When neither Rangeley defenders made a clearing attempt — and no Richmond attacker hopped back on the ball — Vachon stepped in and fired a low, skipping shot that beat Hunter Lowell (11 saves) to the right post.

Emmons nearly found Brady Johnson in the 15th minute off a free kick, and 10 minutes later Shea scored when Emmons laid a perfect ball for him in the right side of the area to finish off.

Before Rangeley even got their legs moving, it was in a 2-0 hole.

“Richmond came out and played tough. Our boys, we came out in the second half. I don’t think we were really here in the first half,” Rangeley coach Danielle Ellis said. “Unfortunately, if we’d have come out in the first half, it would have been a different game.”

Rangeley’s early-season schedule certainly hasn’t done the Lakers any favors. Already, in the course of their first eight games, they’ve played the top two teams in Class D South — No. 1 Buckfield and No. 2 Richmond — twice each. Rangeley entered the week 12th in the region. Only the top 10 teams qualify for the postseason.

“Tough teams, all in the first half,” Ellis said of the schedule. “We haven’t moved (up the Heal point standings) in a long time, because we’ve played so many tough teams. But we’ve been playing better against those teams.”

Emmons was emblematic of how Richmond wants to build its attack. With the midfielder pressing the game along the left side for most of the first half, he set up scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. In the 30th minute, Vachon’s second goal made it 3-0.

“There was a lot of space to dribble, and there was a lot of space to pass and switch the field,” Emmons said. “That was the easy part today.”

“It has nothing to do with the teams we’re playing against,” Richmond coach Pete Gardner said. “One of the things that slows us down is touches. In the last two or three games, teams have crunched up in the back on us. … You try to put some of your better players outside to make things happen out there.”

Emmons admitted that it becomes difficult to stay motivated when the game slows down too much.

“It does get pretty hard when the whole defense is standing, and you’re just carrying the ball really slow all the time,” Emmons said. “It can be hard to make runs against that, and, honestly, you don’t really have the motivation to do it sometimes.”

Rangeley offered more after halftime and traded a couple of scoring bids with its hosts. Zac Trafton’s shot from distance carried just over the crossbar midway through the half, and Ricky Thompson sent Trafton in on goal with a well-timed ball through the middle of the Richmond back line in the 78th minute. On tired legs, Trafton couldn’t get the pace on the shot he wanted.

Simmons (58th minute) and Kendrick (63rd minute) completed the scoring.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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