Thursday, 21 October 2021 22:21

Raiders suffer shut out loss to Union Pines

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Junior Jeremiah McLean (12) dribbles the ball out of the backfield during Thursday's match against Union Pines. Junior Jeremiah McLean (12) dribbles the ball out of the backfield during Thursday's match against Union Pines. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The wear of playing overtime on Wednesday and another full match on Thursday caught up with the Richmond Raiders in their match against Union Pines High School.

Hosting the Vikings, Richmond let “a good first half” slip away, resulting in a 5-0 loss in its final regular-season home match.

The Raiders trailed 1-0 at halftime, before allowing four more goals in the second half.

“We struggled to find the back of the net again,” head coach Chris Larsen said. “After playing 100 minutes last night and not having a lot of depth, we played well before running out of steam in the second half.

“Union Pines scored early and I could tell our heads dropped a little,” he added. “But we kept fighting and the PK stop by Ian Williams kept us in it. But after the third and fourth goals, the energy wasn’t there.”

Scoring in the 25th minute for the Vikings was Griffen Booker, the only score of the opening 40 minutes.

Union Pines (5-13-2, 4-8 SAC) netted a goal in the 43rd minute to open the second half, a shot from Martin Nunez.

Following a foul in the box in the 56th minute, Evan Gettis took a penalty shot for the Vikings. Williams made a diving save to his right, knocking the ball away. An inadvertent whistle stopped play from the Raiders, and Leo Torres scored on the loose ball.

After a conversation between Larsen and the officials, the goal was negated and Richmond received possession on a drop ball.

Union Pines would add three more goals in the final 15 minutes of play. The first was from Gabe Phiilips (66th minute), followed by scores from Isaac Finicum (70th minute) and Jordan Carr (79th minute).

“We’ll have a rest day on Friday and see what we can do Saturday,” Larsen closed. “We should be back to a full roster except for one player, which will help. Hopefully it won’t take us long to get that chemistry back.”

Larsen noted that a win or loss on Saturday against Lee County High School won’t change the outcome of the SAC tournament standings, but said it could give the team “confidence” heading into the first round early next week.

Richmond (4-12-1, 2-8-1 SAC) will play one more regular-season game on Saturday at Lee County (13-3-2, 9-0-2 SAC). The Raiders and Yellow Jackets will begin at 5 p.m.

The SAC tournament will begin Monday. Currently, Richmond sits as the No. 6 seed and will travel to No. 3 Southern Lee High School (10-6-1, 7-4-1 SAC).

JV Raiders end season with another win

The Richmond Raider junior varsity soccer team closed its season with a 1-0 win over Union Pines on Thursday, using a goal from Diego Mendez. Assisting on the tally was Landon Dunn.

Head coach Bennie Howard and the JV Raiders finished the season with an 11-2-1 overall record and a 5-1-1 mark against SAC opponents. Howard said it was a great season, he’s “proud of these young men,” and that the “future looks bright.”

Through 14 games, the JV Raiders scored 40 goals (3.2 goals per game) and held opponents to 15 goals (1.2 goals against per game). As a team, the Richmond JV team recorded six shutouts.

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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