RICHMOND — The Richmond girls high school soccer team came into Wednesday’s clash with North Yarmouth Academy looking to avenge last year’s loss to the Panthers in the D South final.

It didn’t happen.

Natalie Farrell scored at the 10-minute mark for NYA, registering the only score they needed as the Panthers held off Richmond in the second half for a 1-0 victory.

NYA improved to 4-0-1, while the Bobcats suffered their first defeat of the season, falling to 2-1.

After a pair of shots on goal for Richmond through the first nine minutes, NYA struck on its first attempt when Farrell volleyed the ball around defenders to the right side of the net and blasted a shot over the hands of Richmond keeper Liv Johnson with 30 minutes remaining in the half.

We let (Farrell) turn the corner on us. She scored a bunch of goals on us last year, so we knew about her,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “We made sure to stay up on her and keep someone on her.”

Midway through the opening frame, Richmond’s Nicole Tribbet slipped through the defense and positioned herself for a shot, but NYA goalie Carly Downey came out of the net to cut off the angle and denied the sophomore an attempt.

NYA tried to add to the lead late in the half when Farrell made another drive to the goal, but Johnson was there to thwart off the shot to keep the game at a one-goal deficit at the break.

Despite trailing at the half, Richmond outshot NYA, 5-2, while the Panthers held a slight advantage in penalty corners3-1.

Richmond came into the second half with a little more purpose, winning the balls it wasn’t in the first. 

We’re definitely a second-half team with our conditioning and we were like ‘They scored so let’s get it back,’ that was our mentality after halftime,” Bryanne Lancaster said. “We were down by a goal, so we knew had to go after the ball and win it. We limited our mistakes and made things happen.

A little over 12 minutes into the half, Richmond put pressure on the visitors with possessions, creating opportunities with multiple penalty corners. Unfortunately, the Bobcats did not convert, but in the middle of all of it was Lancaster.

Whether it’s her play on defense, leadership on the field or taking corner kicks, Kendrick relies on the senior captain.

She has done a great job taking charge. She’s really my stopper, she’s a center-back but she knows she has the green light to go forward, make things happen and create,” the coach said. “She’s really developed a nice game as she’s an important factor for us.

At the 19-minute mark, a Richmond player was taken down inside the box for a penalty kick, but the attempt went wide, and the score remained intact.

The pressure continued, but nothing developed for the home team. From there, the Panthers defense did what they needed to do, keeping Richmond off the board and preserving the shutout for the win.

While Downey did not record many saves in the second half (one), it was her aggressiveness of coming out from the net to slow down the Bobcats pressure in the second half.

“We came out ready for the pressure. We had to stay back and be ready as our midfielders had to drop more and stay connected, move as one,” Downey, who finished with six saves, said. “I think we did a pretty good job with that in the second half.”

Coach Kendrick was pleased with his team’s effort. 

“We were just a whisker away from creating some really good scoring chances,” Kendrick said. In the second half, we had good possessions, just couldn’t put one in.”

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