PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth High School varsity boys’ soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Central High School Knights in its home game Tuesday night.
The defeat took the Patriots’ record to 2-4 on the season and puts them in 11th place out of 15 high schools in Division I.
The game was hard fought by both sides with the possession being spilt 50-50. Although Central High had the only goal of the game, the Patriots had far more scoring chances.
Senior captain William Hathaway and senior forward Benjamin Boahin had many of the scoring opportunities Tuesday night, but the offense for PHS came up just short. With a goal by Central High’s Jhon Bastidas 10 minutes into the second half, Portsmouth just could not gain enough momentum to stage a comeback.
“We just can’t put the ball in the net as you saw tonight,” head coach Mike Stinton said after the game. “We are having opportunities but we don’t have anybody up top to finish up for us.”
In addition to its tough defeat, Portsmouth lost one of their key players to an apparent knee injury.
Senior defensemen Stephen Rabenold went to the ground clutching his knee with 15 minutes to go in the second half. The game was stopped for 30 minutes as an ambulance made its way onto the field to take Rabenold off on a stretcher. Although the severity of the injury was not known at the time, senior captain Brenna Tierney summed up the team’s attitude afterwards.
“There’s much love for the kid,” Tierney said. “Everyone loves him on the team and it was sad to see him go down. We wish him the best.”
Rabenold was a key part of the Patriots’ defense that held Central High to less than 10 shots on goal in the entire game.
“Stephen had a great game tonight,” said Mr. Stinton when asked about the impact of Rabenold’s injury on the team. “He’s a mainstay in the back of the defense for us. We are probably going to have to regroup; it looks like a season-ending injury.”
Even with the tough loss, the coach was optimistic about some things he saw during the game.
“The defense was doing a nice job,” he said. “They have the leading scorer in the state in Division I and we shut him down tonight. We can’t lack the defensive effort.”
The Patriots’ next game is against Central Falls High School at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at Macomber Stadium, Central Falls. The team looks to bounce back with a win and boost its position in the Division I standings in making a final push with only seven games left in the season.