River’s Ben Woody (13) and Botetourt’s Jacob Booth (15) go after the ball in Friday’s intra-county soccer game.
Photo by Ed McCoy

Sophomore Matt Smith scored twice as Lord Botetourt shut out county rival James River in boys soccer Friday. The Cavaliers took a 4-0 win in Springwood.

“It’s always difficult to play River,” said LB coach Tim Wright. “They’re a good team and have an incredible group of coaches who are dedicated to their players. I look forward to keeping up with their season.”

Smith had two goals while Blake Myers had one goal and one assist and Trey Rice scored once.

“We were outrun with speed most of the night,” said River coach Jared Whiting. “We matched them or exceeded them in effort but could not match them in speed, which tends to be the case when we play the larger schools. LB played better off the ball than we did, making us have to work harder to recover. Late in the game that took its toll.”

River kept the game close, trailing just 1-0 midway through the second half. However, LB finished strong with three goals to win going away.

“We missed a couple good scoring opportunities early in the second half that might have changed the tempo, but the bottom line is we didn’t score,” said Whiting. “As our tanks went dry we fell apart. I’m proud of the effort we gave, LB just outplayed us.”

The win lifted LB to 2-0. The Cavaliers opened the season with a 1-0 win over Franklin County last Thursday. The only goal of the game came about eight minutes in when the Eagles’ goal keeper stepped high off his line, and Smith capitalized off the mistake with a 30 yard open goal.

“We came out and played well out of the gates, establishing who we are,” said Wright. “This game was a great example of the competition we will face with a few particular teams in the Blue Ridge District.”

River bounced back with a 4-0 win at Alleghany on Monday. Tyler Meadows recorded his third shutout of the season as the Knights improved to 3-1 on the season.

“We started out flat and passive and made simple mistakes throughout the first half,” said Whiting. “We regrouped at halftime and came out playing like we know how to play, hardly giving Alleghany any time on our half of the field. We played physical, controlled, and patient soccer, giving us the opportunities we needed to finish at the back of the net.”

Tristan Flood had two goals and an assist. Jacob Wagner had one goal, Jacob Hill had one goal and an assist and Ben Woody had two assists.

River also shut out Nelson County last week, 1-0. Flood had the only goal with an assist from Brad Stephenson.

“The score doesn’t show how dominant we were, but then again putting the whole package together is part of the game,” said Whiting. “We got there but couldn’t finish. Shots that we very seldom miss went wide all night, and a blocked PK added more frustration to the game.”

River is back in action tonight, hosting Radford in the first game of a doubleheader with the girls.

LB was scheduled to host Northside on Tuesday, and on Thursday the Cavaliers are home to William Fleming.

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