Mount Vernon needed almost every bit of Monday night to finally put away the Red Devils.
Mouhamed Konate’s score with 5:18 to play gave the Marauders a two-goal advantage they carried to a 3-1 victory over Richmond in boys soccer at Freeman Park.
It wasn’t for lack of effort on the Red Devils’ part. And it was a stark contrast to 2011’s matchup, an 8-0 victory for Mount Vernon.
“I think the coaches were pleased with the effort, definitely pleased with the effort,” said RHS coach Sam Byrd. “A week ago we didn’t know how this game was going to go, but now I think we have a better sense of what our identity is and what we can do.”
What the Red Devils did Monday night was come back from an early 1-0 deficit, then play neck-and-neck with their season-opening foe.
Mount Vernon scored at 26:50 of the first half, but Richmond responded about one minute later.
Richmond’s Dakota Pennington tied the game 1-all after a deflection from a shot by teammate Joel Okafor at 25:43.
“That was promising. To do that I think says something,” Byrd said.
RHS and Mount Vernon went into the half still tied 1-1 before the Marauders’ C.J. Coleman made it 2-1 at 29:01 of the second half.
That’s how the score stayed most of the rest of the way, despite some strong offerings from the Red Devil offense.
“Tonight, because of the way our season ended (in 2011), we had four guys, four starters that couldn’t play, so we were a little out of sorts, guys out of position, playing more minutes than maybe they normally will,” said Mount Vernon coach Aaron Britt. “But I was happy they persevered a little bit and got the job done.”
Mount Vernon came away with the win, but Byrd came away with several encouraging things from the season opener.
“I like our confidence. I like the way we challenged for every ball,” Byrd said. “I think the goals that they (the Marauders) made were quality goals. We didn’t give up anything too careless.
“We have some things to work on, of course, but overall we’re encouraged.”
Richmond continues its season Thursday at Muncie Burris before returning to Freeman Park on Aug. 23 to face Franklin County.
“We’re ready to move on and ready to get to practice,” Byrd said.