Monmouth’s Ryan Michaud (10) dribbles past Richmond’s Wyatt Cassidy during a soccer game Saturday in Richmond. Eli Canfield/Times Record

RICHMOND — Two of the top boys soccer teams in their classes met for the second time this season in a much closer game Saturday at Richmond High School.

The Mustangs pulled out a 2-0 victory, a much more competitive game than last Wednesday’s affair which resulted in a 6-0 Mustangs win.

“The game we played against these guys last time was below the standard that we have set for ourselves as a team,” said Richmond coach Peter Gardner. “We worked hard today and I’m proud of the guys.”

Richmond earned the top seed in Class D South last season, before falling to North Yarmouth Academy in the regional final. The Mustangs went undefeated in their regular season, but were upset by Traip Academy in the C South quarterfinals.

The two programs had high hopes heading into this season before the pandemic changed the landscape of high school sports in Maine.

Richmond’s Max Viselli, front, defends Monmouth’s Hayden Fletcher, back, during a soccer game Saturday n Richmond. Eli Canfield/Times Record

“Our expectation was to win a state championship this year,” Monmouth senior Cameron Armstrong said. 

The Mustangs, however, aren’t thinking about what could have been, and are only thinking about the task at hand. 

“This is our playoffs,” Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher told his team prior to kickoff. “Let’s make the most of this moment.”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair. The Mustangs provided plenty of pressure on the Bobcats, but the defense guided by goalie Conor Vashon (13 saves) kept the ball away from the goal.

With 13.5 seconds to go in the first half, the Bobcats gave the ball away in their own end. Junior forward Hayden Fletcher took advantage, and fired the ball into the bottom right corner to give Monmouth the lead just before halftime.

“We’ve been playing hard and having fun all season,” Hayden Fletcher said. “It felt nice to get one today.”

Fletcher was proud of how composed the defense remained throughout the game, and saw that Richmond had made several adjustments from the last time they saw them.

“We know the history at Richmond and how accomplished this program is,” Fletcher explained. “Knowing that history gave us a little boost when leading up to the game.”

The Mustangs doubled their lead just over 11 minutes into the second half. 

After a pretty pass from Fletcher, sophomore Ryan Michuad struck a shot past the arms of Vashon into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.

Gardner couldn’t help but think back on the unprecedented year as the season winds down for the Bobcats next week. 

“The biggest thing I’ll remember is how much the kids bought into it, and how hard they were willing to work despite all the unknown,” Gardner said.

For Richmond freshman Teegan Gilpatric, it was an unusual first season entering high school sports.

“Adjusting to the rules was definitely a challenge, it was different. But I am just thankful to be a part of the team this year,” Gilpatric said. 

The modified scheduling this year resulted in cross-class regional matchups like this one, which coaches and players from around the state have enjoyed.

“I really have enjoyed playing Richmond and other teams we don’t normally see this year, it’s been a nice change of scenery,” Coach Fletcher said.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.