After two years of not playing each other, the Evans and Richmond Academy boy's soccer teams finally met last Thursday. The Knights, ranked No. 6 in the state's preseason poll, hosted Class AAA defending state champion Richmond Academy with Evans coming out with a 2-1 win.
"It was really intense," Evans senior Chad Strader said. "We knew they were two-time state champions. We were a little nervous because we're a young team."
Richmond Academy took a quick 1-0 lead over the Knights on a goal from Luigi Clemdening. However, Evans answered with a score from senior Justin Inglett. The goal, which tied the game at 1-1, came from long distance.
"Justin's half-field shot is his specialty. He did it in the Harlem game too," Strader said. "After that it gave us some momentum."
The game took a final swing to the Knights side after an ARC red card and a goal from Evans sophomore Quinten Wilson gave the Knights a 2-1 advantage.
Evans goalkeeper Scott Hartenstein shut out Richmond Academy the rest of the way and finished with seven saves for the game. The Knights held on for a victory that, according to Evans coach Brian Killips, was a nice confidence boost for some of his younger athletes.
"My young guys really stepped up," Killips said. "We knew what to expect and were able to control the middle of the field."
In the girl's game, Lady Knights Tarah Henderson and Allie Young scored three goals each in a 9-0 blowout win over Richmond Academy. Rachel Pendergrast, Emily Belchyk and Jennie Maxwell also scored in the game while Evans sophomore Janay Moore shutout ARC with five saves.
The Knights will return to action Friday and Saturday at the South Gwinnett Invitational, while the Lady Knights will play host to Warner Robins at 7 p.m. Friday.
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