Home Local Sports No. 32 Lady Raiders drop playoff opener at No. 1 Hoggard

No. 32 Lady Raiders drop playoff opener at No. 1 Hoggard

ROSports File Photo: The Lady Raiders lost in the first round of the state playoffs on Monday.
Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

WILMINGTON — A trip to the coast resulted in the Lady Raiders’ season coming to an end on Monday.

No. 32 Richmond kicked off the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s 4A East state playoffs on the road at No. 1 Hoggard High School.

Unable to contend with the top-seeded Lady Vikings, Richmond lost 8-0.

Hoggard scored four goals in the first half before adding four goals in the final 40 minutes of play. 

The Lady Vikings (18-1-1) scored goals in the 2nd, 3rd, 20th, 31st, 53rd, 59th, and 60th minutes, before scoring the final tally in the closing minutes.

Head coach Chris Larsen knew Monday’s playoff game would be a challenge, but he said making it back to the playoffs for the seventh straight year was an accomplishment set at the beginning of the season.

“When we play a quality team like Hoggard, we can’t make mistakes,” Larsen said. “They were fast, moved off the ball and had good touches. We made a couple of mistakes and they were able to capitalize on them. The girls did what we asked them to do, but they just didn’t execute.

“We gave them some easy goals early in the game and I think that set the tone,” he continued. “Hoggard is a very good team and their skill level is a lot higher than any team the girls have seen all year. But I told them it’s a learning experience and know they know where the bar is set if they want to compete at the state level.”

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The Lady Raiders finished the season with a 10-12-1 overall record and a 5-8-1 tally against Sandhills Athletic Conference opponents, putting them in fifth place.

Richmond was the second-best 4A team in the conference this spring, finishing behind SAC champion Pinecrest High School. 

Leading the team in goals this season was junior Cheyenne Jacobs with seven, followed by sophomore Allie Rodgers (6) and freshman Jamyia Lindsey (four).

“Playing the amount of time our girls do between playing other sports and jobs, we did have a pretty good season,” Larsen explained. “But if we want to raise our level of play, there has to be more commitment than playing for just a couple months a year.

“To finish near .500 in a really good conference, I think that says a lot about us,” he closed. “Overall, the girls did a lot of good things and there’s a lot of talent coming back. We appreciate everything the girls have done, especially those who have been with us for three or four years. The seniors are leaving our program knowing they left it a better place than when they got here.”

The Richmond Observer will publish an article featuring All-SAC selections once all of the conference’s teams are eliminated or win the state championship.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.