RICHFORD - The Richford Falcons boys varsity soccer team hosted Christ Covenant in their home opener at Richford Junior-Senior High School on Saturday, Sept. 11, earning a 4-3 win in overtime.
The Falcons jumped to an early lead in the first half on a goal from Carter Blaney. Nick Joyal tapped in a shot off a cross-goal pass from Aske Greve five minutes into the second half to give the Falcons a two-goal advantage.
Christ Covenant broke through Falcon defenders midway through the second half to halve the deficit.
Simon Pike preserved the Falcons lead with a diving save on a direct kick, but moments later, Christ Covenant rallied on a breakaway to tie the game.
The Falcons set up several plays, missing their objective by inches, until Dalton Raymo found a hole, breaking the tie, shortly after a corner kick with 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
Christ Covenant leveled the playing field with less than ten minutes on the clock, eventually sending the teams to overtime.
Five minutes into overtime, Joyal received a pass from Greve and secured the win for the Falcons.
Falcons coach Eric Bruch complimented his team on the work they've been doing on on give-and-go's and off-ball movements.
"That's the one thing that holds us back from the Winooski's, Enosburgs, and Fairfax's--they move the ball well. If we can keep working on that, we're going to be able to take the game to them," said Bruch.
Richford keeper and field player Oliver Pike earned his third win after filling in at goal for the last three games.
"The first game of the year, 15 minutes in, we needed Oliver in goal; he was scrambling to put his jersey. He's had solid performances; he's been on point, and that's super for a goalie," said Bruch.
Pike hasn't seen a lot of time in net for the Falcons, but he has enjoyed it.
"I've been glad I could get in goal and show Eric (Bruch) what I was capable of; it's a good opportunity for me," said Pike.
"Since I was young, I'd go to the field with my brother, and he'd put me in goal because he wanted to take shots on me. I figured I might as well pick it up."
Working with Bruch, a goalie has been a big help to Pike.
"Having coach's extra support pushing me forward has been really helpful."