Thursday, 26 August 2021 22:00

Early deficit too much for Raiders to overcome against Sun Valley

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Jesus Castro (19) and Pedro Molina (14) battle for possession against Cyrus Arneson (8) in Thursday's loss. Jesus Castro (19) and Pedro Molina (14) battle for possession against Cyrus Arneson (8) in Thursday's loss. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Facing its toughest competition yet to start the new season, the Richmond Raider soccer team lost to Sun Valley High School on Thursday.

Not playing their brand of soccer, according to head coach Chris Larsen, the Raiders fell to the Spartans 8-0 in the non-conference meeting.

“We came out really flat tonight and put ourselves in a hole early,” Larsen said. “And we just didn’t play our game tonight. 

“We did stuff that wasn’t in character,” he added. “We didn’t mark up on the correct side, and we had to switch up the bak line because Abrahm Padron didn’t play, which hurt us.”

Also not playing due to injury was senior forward Luke Williams, making the Raiders shift around some players at the top of the offensive attack.

“I told the team that not having Padron and Luke hurt, but two guys don’t make a whole squad,” Larsen noted. “We’re deeper than that.”

Sun Valley (3-1) netted six goals in the first half, including the first from Cyrus Arneson just 28 seconds into the game.

Vincent Gallardo, who registered a hat trick, scored his first goal in the eighth minute. 

The Raiders had two early opportunities on net, the first coming from senior Han Jalbasuren in the 10th minute on a cross from fellow senior Cody Eason. Senior Alex Medina put a shot over the bar roughly a minute later.

Haakon Arneson made it 3-0 in the 12th minute, and Gallardo added to the lead with his other two goals in the 13th and 15th minutes.

Sun Valley’s final goal of the first half was scored on a Rami Zeitouni penalty kick after a foul inside the box by Richmond.

Senior Cameron Way attempted a shot on frame in the 22nd minute, which went just over the crossbar. In the closing seconds of the half, Medina put a free kick on net from near midfield, but it was scooped up by the keeper.

Kevin Lima netted both goals in the second half for the Spartans, the first coming in the 45th minute, followed by the other in the 68th minute.

In between those goals, senior Pedro Molina and junior Ayden Mabe both had header attempts on net. Molina’s shot sailed just high and Mabe’s bounced off the left post.

Senior goalkeeper Ian Williams, who split time with junior Ethan McDonald, made a diving save to his right in the 63rd minute. Eason had Richmond’s last good look on frame, a free kick on net with just over two minutes remaining.

“I thought we were hitting our stride with some new faces on the field, trying to figure out some things and put it all together,” Larsen said. “But the kink tonight threw us off a little bit.

“The guys didn’t do what I asked them to do and this should be an eye-opening experience for them,” he closed. “Hopefully we learn from it and get better.”

Now 1-3 to start the season, Larsen said the Raiders will discuss their mistakes and try to move forward with two matches next week.

Richmond will host non-conference Cape Fear (0-1) on Monday and begin Sandhills Athletic Conference play at home against Southern Lee (3-1) on Wednesday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.

JV Raiders use strong first half to earn another win

Netting three first-half goals, the Richmond junior varsity boys’ soccer team earned a 4-1 win over Sun Valley on Thursday.

Finding the back of the net for the Raiders were sophomores James Eason, Samuel Hawks and Noah Williams, and freshman Noah Gil also scored. Sophomore Filix Guinn was credited with an assist.

Improving to 4-0, the JV Raiders will host Cape Fear on Monday at 5 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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