LAURINBURG — Scotland’s boys soccer team will take on its biggest test of the season when it hosts Pinecrest on Wednesday night.
Pinecrest, a perennially talented Sandhills Athletic Conference team, held an unblemished record of 7-0-1 as of Tuesday afternoon. The Patriots finished in a scoreless tie with Southern Lee earlier this season. Pinecrest was scheduled to face Northwest Guilford on the road on Tuesday night.
Scotland defeated Seventy-First 4-3 on Monday night. Scotland hasn’t scored a goal against Pinecrest in their past four matches dating back to 2016, but head coach Blake Dickerson believes the Scots can compete well against the Patriots.
“It’s definitely going to be a big test,” Dickerson said. “We held Hoke pretty well. I saw Purnell Swett held Pinecrest (to two goals). So I have all the confidence in the world that we can hold this team. All we’ve got to do is maximize on the opportunities that we do get. … It’s just a matter of fixing our technique on defense.”
Pinecrest defeated Scotland 9-0 in both of their meetings last year, Dickerson’s first season with the Scots. The Scots have noticeably improved since then. The Scots recently showed resilience on defense in a 2-0 loss to Hoke. The Bucks are currently 4-0 in conference play, and Scotland has been the only SAC opponent to hold the Bucks under four goals this season.
Pinecrest advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs last year. The Patriots have an experienced roster that includes junior Nick Vences, the team’s second-leading scorer last season with 10 goals.
Wednesday’s varsity game will begin after the jayvee game concludes. The jayvee game begins at 5:15 p.m. After the Pinecrest game, Scotland’s varsity team will play at West Bladen at 6 p.m. on Thursday night. The Scots will visit Lumberton on Monday before hosting rival Richmond next Wednesday.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester