CAMERON — The message following a loss earlier in the week from head coach Chris Larsen was heard loud and clear by the Richmond Raider soccer team on Wednesday.
Simply needing to “play better” overall as a team, the Raiders bounced back with a convincing victory against Union Pines High School.
Continuing Sandhills Athletic Conference action, Richmond blanked the Vikings 2-0. The win ended a three-match losing streak to Union Pines (3-7, 1-2 SAC).
Both of Richmond’s tallies came in the first half, which would be all the Raiders needed thanks to a shutout by the defense and junior goalkeeper Adrian Padron.
Keeping their scoring foot hot, senior James Eason and junior Gonzalo Morales found the back of the net.
Eason netted the eventual game-winner, his team-leading sixth goal of the year.
Before the end of the opening 40 minutes, Morales capitalized on a penalty kick, his second goal in three matches.
“We played much better tonight than we did on Monday,” Larsen said. “The guys responded to my message after losing to Hoke County.
“If we want to be in the race for the conference championship, we have to continue to play the way we did tonight. It was a much better effort and the guys were rewarded with a victory.”
Richmond (4-3-1, 2-1-1 SAC) hosts Lee County High School (5-3, 2-0 SAC) on Monday at 7 p.m. The Raiders will also play a pair of home non-conference games next Wednesday and Thursday.
Big second half helps JV Raiders to victory
The Richmond junior varsity boys’ soccer team also won on Wednesday, defeating Union Pines 4-2.
Using four different goal scorers, the JV Raiders tallied 11 shots on goal.
A 1-0 Richmond lead at the break was added to with three more scores in the second half. Both of Union Pines’ goals were scored on headers.
Scoring for the JV Raiders were sophomores Dougie Dickinson and Elan Garcia, along with freshmen DJ Gainey and Patrick Smith.
“Another great effort by the team tonight, especially seeing four different guys score,” head coach Bennie Howard said. “I’m glad everybody got to play some minutes.”
The JV Raiders (4-1-2, 3-0-1 SAC) will also host Lee County on Monday and start at 5 p.m.