ROCKINGHAM — Facing the top team in the Sandhills Athletic Conference on Wednesday, the Richmond boys’ soccer team couldn’t get back in the win column.
Nearing the end of regular-season play, the Raiders suffered a 6-0 loss to Lee County High School.
The loss wasn’t without a strong effort from sophomore goalkeeper Adrian Padron, who stopped 20 shots, including 14 saves in the first half.
A mistake in the back led to Lee County’s first goal, which saw Irvin Gutierrez slide a shot into the net in the 18th minute.
Logan Jordan gave the Yellow Jackets (13-4-3, 9-0-1 SAC) a 2-0 lead on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute.
Padron kept the score intact with several saves in the remainder of the half, including a trio of saves in one rush by Lee County.
Richmond’s best scoring chance of the first half came from senior Jullian Cline in the opening minutes, who put a pair of shots on frame. The Raiders entered the break down 2-0.
“We had the first chances of the game and I thought we came out of the gate really well,” head coach Chris Larsen said. “The guys rode that momentum and I thought we were going to be able to go up on them.
“In the first half we played really well,” he added. “We let the second half get away from us with some bumps and bruises and a few guys not feeling 100 percent. It’s hard to keep your spirits high when you’re down a couple of goals to a quality team like Lee County.”
The Yellow Jackets scored four more goals in the second half. Finding the net twice was Brandon Harding, Jordan added another tally and Kevin Gutierrez also scored a goal.
Richmond registered four shots on the night — two from Cline and one apiece from junior James Eason and sophomore Noah Gil.
“Hopefully the guys understand that when we put our mind to it, we can win,” Larsen closed. “I want this to motivate the guys to put forth a little bit more effort in practice and in the offseason and see if we can’t get over the hump.”
The Raiders (4-13-1, 3-8 SAC) will close the regular season next week with two matches.
Up first is non-conference Independence High School (7-7) on Monday at home at 6:30 p.m., followed by an away game on Wednesday at last-place Scotland (3-9, 0-8 SAC), beginning at 6 p.m.
JV Raiders draw with JV Yellow Jackets to close season
The Richmond junior varsity boys’ soccer team drew even with Lee County 1-1 on Wednesday in its final game of the season.
Trailing 1-0 in the first half, freshman Memphis Jacobs tied the game. That score would hold until the final buzzer.
Head coach Bennie Howard said Richmond had “two really good chances to win the game” in the closing minutes.
“This wasn’t the season we thought we would have, but it was a growing process,” Howard reflected. “We had a very young team and hopefully these young men heed the words and advice I’ve given them.
“I hope they’ll try to find somewhere to play in the offseason and continue to develop their skills every day. If they come back with a positive attitude, we can continue to grow and get better next season.”
The JV Raiders finished their season with a 3-7-5 overall record.