The Blue Raiders (8-10) stayed on the defensive for the better part of both halves against a very good ball handling East Ridge team.
“They are a very good team. East Ridge has had a very good season. They had only lost once coming into this game against a very good East Hamilton team,” said Blue Raiders coach John Brose. “We knew it was going to be a game. At the end of the day we didn’t play our best soccer. On a day we do it’s a lot more competitive overall. But, that’s not to take anything away from them, they played a very good game.”
The Pioneers (10-1-2) scored in the 10th and 20th minutes. Two more East Ridge shots on goal rattled the crossbar before being grabbed by Cleveland Keeper Zach Martin. East Ridge led 2-0 at halftime.
The Pioneers found the nylons twice more in the second half with goals at the 60-minute mark and in the 76th minute.
Brose took a philosophical outlook on the outcome saying he was proud for the chance to honor the Blue Raiders’ seniors and the team will be focused and ready for the second season of soccer.
“Tonight is about more than the score on the scoreboard, it’s about honoring our seniors as well. We had 11 we were able to honor before the game. Tonight was about them and we were able to thank and recognize them for all the hard work they have put in the last four years,” he said.
“I told the guys it is a learning experience, the last regular season game. Everybody is 0-0-0 from here. We are going to turnaround and start focusing on the postseason and hopefully be able to make some noise and play our best soccer starting next week.”
The Blue Raiders open the district tournament with a quarterfinal match Saturday at home against Rhea County. Kick off is scheduled for 2 p.m.