Wednesday, 20 October 2021 22:43

Raiders battle to 2OT draw against Scotland on Senior Night

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Senior Pedro Molina (14), who scored two goals on Senior Night, moves past Hector Hernandez in the second half. Senior Pedro Molina (14), who scored two goals on Senior Night, moves past Hector Hernandez in the second half. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Eighty minutes wasn’t enough time for the Richmond Raider soccer team against rival Scotland High School during Wednesday’s Sandhills Athletic Conference match.

Finishing regulation tied at three goals apiece, both teams scored one goal in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods to end the match in a 4-4 draw.

Richmond returned to the pitch for the first time two weeks after following COVID-19 protocols, and recognized its 10 senior players on Senior Night. 

Richmond’s seniors this season were: Ian Williams (1), Ben DeAguilar (2), Alex Medina (6), Keaton Sweatt (11), Pedro Molina (14), Justin McDougald (16), Han Jalbasuren (17), Cody Eason (18), Luke Williams (22) and Cameron Way (23).

Several of Richmond’s players were still following those protocols and were unable to play, allowing a handful of junior varsity players to be called up. Head coach Chris Larsen said it took the Raiders some time to adjust to the new lineup.

“It’s hard to come back out after having a week off of not practicing and having to throw in some new pieces in different places,” Larsen said. “I was glad the guys fought for all 100 minutes and we had some chances, but we let it slip away late.

“This showed good promise for the next two games. We got better as the game went on, especially after a difficult first 30 minutes getting used to a new lineup. It’s unfortunate of the outcome and I hate that we weren’t able to get a win for our seniors.”

Seniors pictured left to right: Pedro Molina, Keaton Sweatt, Ian Williams, Ben DeAguilar, Alex Medina, Luke Williams and Cameron Way. Not pictured: Cody Eason, Han Jalbasuren and Justin McDougald. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Scotland took a 1-0 lead in the second minute on a goal by Hector Hernandez. A few minutes later, junior Ayden Mabe and Way combined to make a clearing save on a loose ball in the box to save a goal.

Freshman Noah Gil had a header attempt on frame following a corner kick, and both Molina and Medina had chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Finding the back of the net in the 34th minute was Molina, which was the first of his team-high two goals in the game. Molina took possession of the ball inside the six-yard box and tapped it in along the left post past goalkeeper Gavin Stanley.

Three minutes into the second half, Molina struck again, this time from 20 yards out. Taking a touch along the left side of the field, Molina dropped a shot under the crossbar and just out of reach of Stanley’s hands to put Richmond up 2-1 in the 43rd minute.

“Scoring a goal is always special and it feels good when I can help the team,” Molina said. “Since tonight was Senior Night, scoring two goals was really big for me and they helped the team at that point in the game.

“We haven’t been playing regularly, and we knew it was going to be hard to resume playing,” he added. “But today we learned we need to pass and communicate more, and that’s how the chances for us to score will come.”

Scotland tied the game at two goals in the 52nd minute on a shot by Jimmy Locklear, and pulled ahead with a 3-2 lead following a tally by Scotty Boone in the 61st minute.

Sophomore Noah Williams nearly tied it with a shot from a tight angle in the 65th minute, but hit the side netting. Answering the call and knotting the game 3-3 was junior Mason Iacovone in the 71st minute.

On a pass across the goal mouth, Iacovone redirected his shot into the net along the back post to give the Raiders new life.

Junior Mason Iacovone (center) celebrates his goal in the second half of Wednesday’s match. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Mabe just missed on a header attempt in the final two minutes, and Way made two header saves on consecutive corner kicks in the final minute of regulation to force overtime. Senior Luke Williams nearly won the match with five seconds remaining, but his shot from the left side was saved by Stanley.

Playing two 10-minute overtime periods, Medina lit the lamp first for the Raiders to give the home team a 4-3 lead. From 40 yards, Medina sent a laser that hit the crossbar and bounced down and into the goal with 2:36 to play in the first set of extra time.

Hernandez tied the game by scoring the final goal for either team on a shot with 1:12 to go in the first OT period.

Richmond goalkeeper Ian Williams started the second overtime period with a sliding save on Hernandez, and Way followed with another timely clear on a loose ball in front of the net.

Noah Williams had two chances in the final 30 seconds to net the game-winner, but both times his shot was stopped along the right post.

Senior Alex Medina (6) scored Richmond’s fourth goal and lone tally in extra time. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

“The last two years have been difficult for these seniors,” Larsen explained. “They played a shortened season in the winter and then had to turn around and play this fall. It’s been up and down, but it’ll certainly be memorable for the seniors.

“I know the season hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to, but I told them that’s life sometimes. It doesn’t go your way all the time, but it’s what you do with it that matters. These guys have shown up every day and fought through it and we’ll miss them next year.”

Richmond (4-11-1, 2-7-1 SAC) will close out its regular season with two more SAC matches this week, starting with a home game Thursday at 7 p.m. against Union Pines High School (4-12-2, 3-7 SAC).

The Raiders will travel to Lee County High School (13-3, 9-0-1 SAC) on Saturday at 5 p.m. The SAC tournament will begin early next week.

JV Raiders shut out Scotland

Also returning to the field for the first time in two weeks, the Richmond junior varsity soccer team defeated Scotland 3-0.

Daryen Mendez had a goal and an assist, and also scoring one goal were Andrew Conyers and Matthew Leggett. Samuel Hawks added an assist.

Improving to 10-2-1 overall, and 4-1-1 against SAC opponents, the JV Raiders will host Union Pines on Thursday at 5 p.m.

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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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