Home Local Sports Raiders drop second straight match, Larsen pleased with effort

Raiders drop second straight match, Larsen pleased with effort

Freshman Daniel Gomez (foreground) and senior Diego Mendez battle for possession against Sam Howe (10). (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — The focus areas the Richmond Raider soccer team has been working on in practice were on display Monday despite it dropping its second straight game.

Back on the pitch for another non-conference match, the Raiders lost 4-0 to Independence High School.

The physical matchup saw the Patriots net one goal in the first half and add three more in the second half.

“We played well at times but we dug ourselves into a hole early by giving up a goal,” head coach Chris Larsen said. “Luckily, our guys didn’t drop their heads and we knocked the ball around to create some opportunities.

“I told the guys we have a tough non-conference schedule,” he added. “I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m not disappointed in the guys’ effort. I can see them trying to do the things we’ve worked on, which are quicker touches, getting the ball off our foot, switching the point of attack and now we have to capitalize on scoring opportunities.”

The Patriots used their speed to get behind Richmond’s defense and score the only goal of the first half in the fifth minute. 

On the rush, Ru Reh slid the ball across the box to Sam Howe, who chipped it past junior goalkeeper Adrian Padron. 

In the opening 40 minutes, Independence (3-0) registered seven shots to Richmond’s three. Padron made several athletic stops, including a diving deflection in the fourth minute. 

He also stopped a free kick on net, made a sliding stop 1v1 against Reh and snagged a shot by Aaron Zhu. 

Junior goalkeeper Adrian Padron pushes a shot wide during Monday’s match. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

The Raiders, who struggled to maintain possession in the first half, recorded three shots. Their best chance to score came on a free kick by senior midfielder Jesus Castro in the 36th minute. 

Junior midfielder Landon Summerlin and junior forward Noah Gil both blasted a shot in the first half. 

In the final 40 minutes of play, Independence scored three goals on seven more shots. Howe scored his second goal of the game on a similar play to his first tally in the 50th minute.

Adding goals were Zhu (63rd minute) off a redirect on a corner kick and Jackson Finney, who headed the ball in during the 71st minute.

Padron made a handful more saves, including a punch save on a header attempt by Lucca Barros. 


Richmond added four more shots in the second half, as Castro nearly scored when he sent a free kick over the crossbar in the opening minutes of the second half.

Senior James Eason got a shot off before being knocked down in the box, Gil one-time a low shot on frame during a rush and Giovanni Armenta had a header attempt sail wide in the final minutes.

“Soccer isn’t a game that should be won by seven or eight goals,” Larsen explained. “They should be low-scoring games. We have to start fixing our mistakes so that we can get better. 

“This is game three now and we’re going to continue to watch film, which I think helped us tonight. We’ll focus on the final third of the game tomorrow during practice and get ready for Wednesday.”

Richmond (1-2) is set to play another non-conference match at Uwharrie Charter Academy (2-0) on Wednesday.  The varsity-only match will start at 6 p.m.

JV Raiders draw even with JV Patriots

Ahead of the varsity match, the junior varsity Raiders finished in a 1-1 draw with Independence. 

Scoreless at the half, Richmond took the lead after halftime. A foul in the box awarded the JV Raiders a penalty kick. 

Taking the shot and finding the back of the next for the first time this season was freshman midfielder Cole Lambeth. 

Trying to hold onto the lead, Richmond surrendered the equalizing goal with 2:01 left in regulation. 

“We played well and outshot them 7-4,” head coach Bennie Howard said. “There were plenty of opportunities for us to score but we just got tired.”

Howard added that sophomore Jake Veach “played really well” in goal, out of position to help the team.

The JV Raiders (1-1-1) won’t play again until next Monday at Sun Valley High School.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-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.