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Region defeat angers South Effingham coach
We couldn’t do anything. It looked like our first game (without much practice). I know it made me angry so, hopefully, it makes all of them angry.”
Mustangs soccer coach DaKota Paradice

RICHMOND HILL — South Effingham boys soccer coach DaKota Paradice said sometimes the results of a junior varsity game can foreshadow what will happen in the varsity game in certain programs.

The Mustangs’ JV defeated Richmond Hill by three goals a week earlier.

But the varsity team didn’t follow suit. SEHS was outplayed throughout the gnat-annoying Thursday during a disappointing 4-1 loss to the host Wildcats.

SEHS girls also struggled while being overpowered by Richmond Hill 10-0 in a match ending about three minutes early because of the mercy rule.

“I don’t know if we were too confident, but we looked flat right from the start,” Paradice said. “We couldn’t do anything. It looked like our first game (without much practice). I know it made me angry so, hopefully, it makes all of them angry.”

For the Mustangs, it was a barometer game. They had been three-time region champions in Region 2-AAAAA, but reclassified to AAAAAA this school year. SEHS hoped to give a better showing against the Region 2-AAAAAA champs of 2019.

But the Mustangs (5-3, 2-2) had only one shot on goal — a direct kick from 25 yards out that resulted in the lone goal.

Richmond Hill won the statistical battle, getting eight shots on goal and creating more scoring opportunities with a 10-3 edge in corner kicks.

“My team is much more talented, but I didn’t have them prepared so this one falls on me,” Paradice said. “We had some lackadaisical practices and I’m the one who plans practice.”

Richmond Hill had a lot to do with the bad look. The Wildcats seem to have gotten back on track thanks to the county of Effingham. After losing its first three region games, RHHS defeated Effingham County 4-2 on March 9, topped South Effingham two days later and knocked off undefeated Brunswick 3-0 on March 12.

Against South, Murilo Lara scored twice in the first half. His first goal came after the Mustangs defense failed to clear a ball from the box.

It was 3-0 before a Richmond Hill handball led to a direct kick that Quick converted into SEHS’ score with 19:12 to go.

The Mustangs displayed a sense of urgency and played better in the second half but just couldn’t make a play to generate momentum.

In the 53rd minute, Chris Garcia’s sliding attempt to reach a cross in the box deflected just wide. Two minutes later, Ashton Meador hit the crossbar from 25 yards out and during the scramble, a header for an apparent goal was negated by an offsides call.

“We’re all disappointed, we know we could have played better,” Paradice said. “Hopefully, we’ll show that the next time we play them.”

The Mustangs won’t have to wait long for the rematch. The teams will meet again March 23 in Guyton.