Cape Fear blanks men’s soccer in home opener

September 6, 2017

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — With any newly formed team, chemistry and cohesion can take time. First-year Patrick Henry Community College men’s soccer coach Lucas Almeida is no stranger to that fact.

In Tuesday’s (Sept. 5) 3-0 Region X home-opening loss to Cape Fear, Almeida said his team is still learning how to communicate effectively. And it’s not just in eliminating mistakes in the back, but pushing the ball forward with more aggressiveness.

“I think the worst part right now is our communication. If we can fix our communication, everything will start to move smoother,” Almeida said.

The Sea Devils capitalized on a pair of defensive miscues, the first inside 10 minutes, forcing the Patriots to change their game plan not even 20 minutes into the match. Cape Fear sophomore striker Tyler Nelson scored goals in the 7th and 16th minutes to keep the Sea Devils unbeaten on the young season. Both chances were direct results of giveaways inside the PHCC defensive third of the field.

The Patriots (1-2, 0-2) nearly got the opening goal back in the 12th minute as James Norman was sent up the left channel behind the Cape Fear defense. His shot attempt missed wide of the near post and was one of a few quality chances PHCC would have all match. While Almeida admitted his team showed better spells of possession and tempo, it lacked the ability to link up in numbers against a well organized CFCC defense.

The Sea Devils allowed just five shots on goal in the match.

“We’re going to have adjustments during the game, and that’s my fault,” Almeida said. “if we were prepared for the adjustments like we should have been we would’ve done better. Our movement was poor and that was our biggest negative in the first half.”

Almeida added that the continuity of Cape Fear’s sophomore-laden team allowed the visitors to play more relaxed and fluid throughout the 90 minutes. They were able to maintain pressure, adding a goal in the 79th minute on a simple vertical run up the right channel by Franco Fernandez. All three goals were 1-on-1 situations for Patriots goalkeeper Alexis Montanez, who finished with 14 saves.

The Patriots head to USC Sumter on Saturday, Sept. 9 for a Region X match at 1 p.m. PHCC then returns home for three straight, playing three games in five days, starting Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. against Wake Tech at the Smith River Sports Complex.

Filed under: Men's Soccer