LAURINBURG — For most of the first half of its game on Monday night against Jack Britt, the Scotland boys soccer team couldn’t seem to get the ball into the attacking third of the field.
Jack Britt kept pressuring the Fighting Scots’ backline and scored three goals in the first half, and that was all the Buccaneers needed to secure a 3-0 win on the road.
“I definitely see a slow first half every time we play,” Scotland head coach Blake Dickerson said. “I don’t know what it is about his team. We’re slow out of the gate, but we usually finish strong.”
Goalkeeper Aubry Graham tallied 21 saves for the Scots (2-3, 0-1 SAC) as the anchor of an improved defensive unit.
“I definitely saw a big difference in the defense this time,” Dickerson said. “We’ve been working a lot on keeping our shape and working on zone, more so than just man. I finally found a better combination at midfield this time, and it definitely showed in the second half.”
Jay-Anthony Service, Kevin Wanovich and Ezra Skoog each scored a goal for the Buccaneers (3-2, 1-0 SAC). Service and Bradley Brookshire assisted on one goal apiece.
Scotland registered eight shots, including two late attempts inside the box by Adolfo Duran that sailed away from the goal.
“We’ve just really got to work on getting those opportunities to finish and working together when we’re on the attacking half,” Dickerson said. “After we get that together, we’ll have the full deal.”
It was Scotland’s first time back on the pitch after losing to East Bladen 9-0 last Tuesday.
“I don’t think we ever really lost it against East Bladen,” Dickerson said. “They just were fast on it.
“This Jack Britt team, we knew they weren’t quite as good, but we knew going in that we could possibly beat them. That’s what we were going for, we wanted to get a win. A 3-0 loss isn’t horrible, but obviously it isn’t a win.”
Brandon Tester can be reached at bte[email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.