ROCKINGHAM — It took 50 minutes for the Lady Raider soccer team to score its first goal during Monday’s match, but that score led to three more in the second half en route to a win.
Starting the first round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament at home, the No. 4 Lady Raiders ousted No. 5 Hoke County High School 4-1.
Facing the Lady Bucks for the third time this season, Richmond completed the sweep thanks to two goals from senior forward Sheccid Heaton.
Also scoring once was senior midfielder Cheyenne Jacobs and the other tally was an own-goal by Hoke County (3-17-2).
Heaton and Jacobs have been on a scoring tear the past three games for Richmond, all of which have resulted in wins. Leading the way has been Heaton’s five goals, while Jacobs has scored four times.
Jacobs, along with sophomore midfielder Hanna Smith, was credited with an assist against Hoke County.
In the first half, both teams jockeyed for control. The 40 minutes of play saw the Lady Raiders and Lady Bucks trade runs into the offensive zone, but much of the action was near midfield fighting for possession.
The Lady Bucks outshot Richmond 4-3 in the first half, as sophomore goalkeeper Quanna Bostic made a handful of athletic saves to keep the game scoreless.
Also forcing the ball toward the middle of the field was Richmond’s back line, which alleviated pressure on Bostic and provided scoring chances for the offense.
Responsible for that were outside backs Kalei Sriratanakoul and Rebeca Avalos, along with center backs Rylie Bohman and Ava Thompson. Junior midfielder Gabby Lutz and senior midfielder Jennifer Gomez contributed to the stifling play.
During halftime, head coach Chris Larsen rallied his players and told them they were doing everything right but finding the back of the net. The pep talk paid off as the Lady Raiders scored three goals before Hoke County scored its first.
In the 50th minute, Smith made a run down the left side of the field and slid a pass to Heaton at the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Similar to her goal against Scotland last week, Heaton dialed up an arcing shot that sailed just under the crossbar to make it 1-0.
Just three minutes later, Jacobs netted her team-leading 10th goal of the season unassisted. On a counterattack, Jacobs got possession in the middle of the field.
Splitting a pair of center backs near the edge of the box, Jacobs charged in and sent a hard roller inside the left post to make it 2-0 in the 53rd minute.
Hoke County helped Richmond take a three-goal lead in the 61st minute with an own-goal. Heaton sent a pass across the box from the left side where a defender attempted to clear the ball, but instead was knocked into the goal.
With the clock winding, the Lady Bucks used a miscue on defense by Richmond to erase the shutout in the 76th minute. Moving past the defense, the goal scorer snuck her shot past a charging Bostic who was trying to cut down her angles.
Tacking on her second goal of the game, and seventh of the season, for good measure in the 79th minute, Heaton redirected a cross from Jacobs along the left post for the game’s final goal. It was Jacobs’ 10th assist.
No. 4 Richmond (13-7-1) will get a chance to upset No. 1 seed Union Pines High School (13-7-1) in the second round of the SAC tournament on Tuesday. Play will begin at 8 p.m.