SANFORD — Nearing the end of the first round of Sandhills Athletic Conference play, the Richmond Raider soccer team suffered a loss on Monday.
Traveling to Lee County High School, the Raiders fell to the Yellow Jackets 5-1.
Lee County, the defending conference champion, scored three of its goals in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets netted goals in the 6th, 23rd and 30th minutes to take a 3-0 lead into halftime.
“We came out a little flat and gave up the first goal early,” head coach Chris Larsen said. “The guys didn’t mark up on the back post and it was a nice header.
“I thought we knocked it around a little better but then we committed a foul, and that led to a penalty kick. Ethan (McDonald) got a hand on it but it went in and we were down two early.”
Out of the break, Lee County (6-4-3, 3-0-1) added to its lead with another goal in the 67th minute to make it 4-0.
Netting Richmond’s goal was junior Samuel Hawks, who answered with his first goal of the season in the 69th minute.
Taking a cross from senior Tyler Berry, who led a charge down the left sideline, Hawks tipped his shot up and over the keeper, who was off his line.
Before the end of regulation, the Yellow Jackets struck one more time in the 77th minute.
“We’re not a heavy goal-scoring team, so it’s hard to come back,” Larsen said. “We played a better second half, and Ethan made two or three good stops to keep it close.
“We didn’t do the things that make us successful. If they don’t play the right way, they’ll get beat, and we’re learning the hard way. Hopefully we have a short memory and we’ll see what we can do against a non-conference opponent.”
Richmond (3-7-1, 2-3 SAC) has two non-conference games at home scheduled for the rest of the week, starting with Terry Sanford (6-2) on Tuesday.
That will be followed by a home match on Thursday against Northwood (4-5-1). Both start times are slated for 7 p.m.
JV Raiders also lose to Lee County
The Richmond junior varsity soccer team lost 6-1 to Lee County on Monday.
Trailing 4-1 at the half, the JV Raiders used a goal from freshman Memphis Jacobs. Lee County added two more goals in the final 35 minutes.
“Until this group of young men takes what we learn in practice and puts it on the field and listens to the coach, the rest of the season is going to be a rollercoaster,” Bennie Howard said. “Hopefully we play better tomorrow against Terry Sanford.”
Now 2-4-2 overall, and 1-3 in SAC play, the JV Raiders will host Terry Sanford and Northwood, both beginning at 5 p.m.
Note: Chris Larsen, Bennie Howard and Shannon Mabe contributed to this article.