Riverbend boys soccer coach Bob Stack knows it’s a difficult task matching the ferocity of Colonial Forge.
That’s why Stack was so pleased that his Bears did so three times in a 2–0 home victory Tuesday night.
Riverbend (6–3–1) dealt Colonial Forge its first loss of the season. Although the teams are Conference 4 rivals, their first meeting doesn’t count toward the league standings.
Still, Stack was thrilled because Riverbend started fast, kept up its energy after halftime and finished off the Eagles following a 40-minute lightning delay at the 23:11 mark of the second half.
“We knew we had to match their intensity and I thought our guys did a great job tonight of having to match their intensity three times,” Stack said. “We knew they were going to be fired up [after the lightning delay] so we had to match their intensity again.”
The Eagles (9–1) came with a barrage of shots on goal following the delay but misfired on each opportunity.
It culminated a frustrating night for Colonial Forge, which appeared to lose its composure early in the first half.
Head coach Adam Spinelli audibly implored his players not to question decisions made by officials and to focus on playing their game.
His message didn’t appear to get across as the Eagles continued to voice their displeasure throughout the night.
“I think they were frustrated,” Riverbend’s Josh Kennison said. “They hadn’t lost a game yet and we just shut them out.”
Spinelli said he doesn’t believe the loss will linger into the Eagles’ next game on Thursday at home against Woodbridge in the conference opener. He noted that Colonial Forge has 12 seniors and should be able to overcome its first bit of adversity.
But it may have to do so without standout Yafet Cole who was ejected in the final moments of the game after a red card for debating with officials. A red card results in a one-game suspension unless it’s overturned on appeal.
“We preach composure all the time and tonight I think we got frustrated with some of the things that went on in the game and we allowed that to boil over and it really had an impact on the way that we like to play, the way we pride ourselves on playing,” Spinelli said. “But Riverbend played a fantastic game. We just couldn’t match their intensity.”
Kennison struck first for Riverbend when he scored on a penalty kick 20 minutes into the game. The Bears delivered another blow to the Eagles when senior Zach Diehl scored early in the second half.
“It was just a corner and I saw the perfect opportunity to volley it in,” Diehl said.
Riverbend’s 2–0 advantage held up the remainder of the game. The Eagles made it a bit interesting after the lightning delay but the Bears held firm. Stack was glad to see his team rise to the challenge against a quick and talented team.
“We wanted to play this fast and win a game at this speed and this intensity,” Stack said. “So this was good. I thought we played well at least 65 of the 80 minutes tonight.”
The Bears will be back in action in their conference opener on Thursday against Gar-Field.