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Wednesday, 11 September 2019 23:09

Hayden, Nicholson find twine to help Raiders to first win; edge Jack Britt

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ROSports File Photo: Lee Hayden (left) scored a goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Jack Britt High School. ROSports File Photo: Lee Hayden (left) scored a goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Jack Britt High School. Michelle Parrish — The Richmond Observer.

FAYETTEVILLE — Head boys’ soccer coach Chris Larsen knew it was only a matter of time before his team would work out its early-season wrinkles and collect its first win of the season.

On the road at Jack Britt High School on Wednesday, resetting after a home loss to Pinecrest on Tuesday, the Richmond Senior High School soccer team snapped its four-game losing streak to start the campaign with a 2-1 victory over the Buccaneers.

The win ended the slump, but more importantly for Larsen and the Raiders, it gave them their first Sandhills Athletic Conference win. The Raiders would use two first-half goals and tight defense and goalkeeping in the second half to send the Buccaneers packing on their home field.

“We played pretty good tonight,” Larsen smiled after the much-needed win. “Thanks to Lee (Hayden), we were able to get on the board early and get some momentum going against a good team. 

“Any time we play Jack Britt, we know it’s going to be physical with a lot of hard tackles,” he continued. “We were ready for that and we knocked the ball around really well. I’m glad we got our first win, and one in conference at that.”

Richmond would get off to a fast start seeing Hayden, a senior striker, net his second goal of the season. The Raiders came in on a rush, seeing a couple of passes find the ball on Hayden’s foot near the top of the 18-yard box. He spun around a defender and laced the ball into the back of the net to give Richmond a 1-0 advantage in the second minute.

Hayden would net another goal a couple of minutes later, but the officials waved it off due to “an illegal throw in,” Larsen explained.

The Buccaneers would tie the match around the 20th minute, getting a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Jadin Wilson. Making his first varsity start to give junior Jay Ammons a night off, Wilson stood tall in a lot of crucial situations to help Richmond preserve the win.

With just over three minutes remaining in the opening half, senior midfielder Joey Nicholson also scored his second goal of the fall. On another Raider attack, Nicholson slid to the back post and connected on a cross to net the eventual game-winning goal in the 37th minute.

Wilson made two clutch saves in the closing 40 minutes, starting with a diving save early in the half. With 10 minutes left in regulation and the Buccaneers (2-2, 1-1 SAC) threatening to score, he jumped up and punched the ball away inside the box to alleviate the pressure.

“Jadin played a great game, and he made a really big save with 10 minutes to go,” Larsen commented. “I’m happy for him that he was able to step up for us during a big match and rise to the occasion.

“Tonight, we had a lot more opportunities,” he closed. “The guys were able to put about a dozen shots on net, which is good for our confidence. We were all around the posts, and with more practice, we’ll get more in the net.  As a whole, the guys figured out how to to play and used what we learned during our first four games to help get the win.”

Richmond (1-4, 1-1 SAC) will return to its home field and close out the week Thursday with a non-conference match against Pine Forest High School (6-2). The Raiders will look for another win when the match gets underway at 7 p.m.

Williams’ hat trick lifts JV Raiders past Jack Britt

In junior varsity action, the Raiders bounced back after their first loss of the season with a 4-2 win over Jack Britt. Sophomore Luke Williams would score the final three goals for Richmond, earning himself his first hat trick of the season.

Fellow sophomore Andres Sanchez also scored in the win. The JV Raiders (3-1-1) and head coach Tad Hamilton will face Pine Forest on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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