TROY — Starting the season the way it wanted to, the Richmond Senior High School girls’ soccer team shut out its opponent on Monday.
Kicking off the 2023 campaign at non-conference Montgomery Central High School, the Lady Raiders earned a 4-0 win.
Four different goal scorers found the back of the net — senior Sheccid Heaton and junior Allie Rodgers in the first half, followed by sophomore Ashly Gonzalez and freshman Yulissa Mendez in the second half.
Heaton and senior teammate Cheyenne Jacobs were also credited with an assist in the win over Montgomery Central (0-1).
Fifth-year head coach Chris Larsen said he was pleased with the team’s efforts and noted the Lady Raiders “played with a little more confidence” after Heaton opened the scoring.
Richmond set the tone from the opening kick, spending much of the first half in the attacking zone, keeping the ball away from sophomore goalkeeper Quanna Bostic.
Scoring on a rush in the 11th minute, Richmond took a 1-0 lead.
Jacobs started the scoring run by sprinting down the right sideline before sending a cross into the box. Heaton, along with two other teammates, crashed the net and the midfielder one-timed the pass into the goal past the keeper.
The Lady Raiders outshot the Lady Timberwolves 8-2 in the opening 40 minutes, as attempts by Rodgers, senior Rebeca Avalos and sophomore Hanna Smith just missed their target near the midway point.
Rodgers, who was second on the team last year with six goals, capitalized in the 25th minute to open Richmond’s lead to two goals.
Winning possession along the right side, Rodgers took a touch out of a group of defenders and blasted a shot top shelf from 20 yards.
The second half mirrored the first, as Richmond’s possession game in the middle of the field allowed seven more shots on goal.
Smith had a couple of chances on goal in the opening five minutes, and although she didn’t score, it kept the momentum in the Lady Raiders’ favor.
Bostic made one of her more athletic saves in the 49th minute, jumping up to catch a shot off a free kick that rainbowed into the box.
Gonzalez narrowly missed a goal similar to Rodgers’, but was rewarded with her first varsity goal in the 66th minute.
On a counterattack across midfield, Heaton deked a defender and found open space along the left sideline. Threading a pass to Gonzalez in the middle, the forward took a touch and blasted the ball into the net from inside the 18-yard box.
With the clock winding and the game all but put away, Mendez used a breakaway up the middle of the field to score in her first high school game. Her goal snuck inside the right post in the 72nd minute.
Larsen, who’s keen on making sure all of his players get some minutes, turned to his bench for the final stretch. Bostic, who played over 70 minutes, split the shutout with senior keeper Tatum Rhyne, who made one save.
The Lady Raiders (1-0) continue their three-game opening week on Wednesday, traveling to non-conference Cape Fear High School.
During a scrimmage last week, Richmond led the Lady Colts 3-0 after the end of 40 minutes of exhibition play. Action will get started at 7 p.m.