LAURINBURG — Pinecrest wore down Scotland’s defense Monday, winning 4-0 to drop the Scots to 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Despite the loss, Scotland coach Danny Gallagher said he saw positives to take away. For one, Scotland only allowed one goal in from the run of play. The three others came from corner kicks.
“The defense played really organized tonight,” Gallagher said. “The kids worked really hard.”
Scotland’s defense was playing the Patriots tight in the early going Monday, pressing at almost every chance and not allowing the speedy attackers room to work. Eventually, however, the dominant team in the region found its way through. Cameron Morton tapped in a bouncing ball in the box just over the arms of Scotland goalkeeper Brandon McDonald 25 minutes into the match to open the scoring.
McDonald had a good game despite allowing four goals. It could have been more, especially in the last 20 minute when Scotland’s defense started to get tired and Pinecrest was constantly creating chances. McDonald made several diving and leaping saves.
Gallagher said having a reliable goalkeeper takes pressure off of the defense.
“It helps your defense when they know the last guy’s going to have your back nine times out of 10,” Gallagher said.
Pinecrest had the majority of the possession in the first half, but did not totally dominate it. Scotland had its fair share of the ball, but was unable to advance it very far past midfield often. Pinecrest’s midfielders and defenders tackled well and were able to take the ball back before the Scots could do any damage.
The Patriots added their second goal eight minutes after the first. This time Gerardo Peraza scored on a give-and-go pass where he cut in the box and shot it over the head of McDonald, who had attempted to make a diving stop.
Josh Ray tacked on Pinecrest’s third goal six minutes into the second half and Mark Crop made it 4-0 with just over 12 minutes to play. Both goals were scored off of set pieces.
Scotland (1-6, 1-1) will play host to Hoke County on Wednesday. The varsity game begins at 7 p.m.