ROCKINGHAM — All that separated the Richmond Senior girls soccer team from snapping its five-game losing streak was 40 minutes.
The only problem was Hoke made a slight halftime adjustment.
That change turned a one-goal deficit into a 6-2 Hoke victory over Richmond Wednesday night at Raider Stadium.
“They made it,” Hoke coach Colin McDavid said about the move. “We started off flat and I told them ‘We have to stop making those little mistakes.’”
One of the key errors that cost the Bucks in the first half was being offsides. The Raiders were able to trap them into a handful of calls in the opening 40 minutes and carried a 2-1 into halftime thanks to goals by Abigail Alcocer and Cherie Ellerbe.
“I thought we played an inspired first half,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “I thought we marked up very well.”
Things changed once Hoke tweaked their offense as Alayna Lewis broke free in the middle of Richmond’s defense to score four times in the second half.
“I’m surprised they were able to turn up the speed, especially after last night’s overtime game,” McDavid said. “They have a lot of heart.”
Hoke improves to 6-4-3 overall and 3-2-2 in the Southeastern Conference. Richmond falls to 2-9-1 on the season and 1-5 in the SEC.
In the junior varsity game, Richmond won its third straight game with a 3-1 victory over Hoke. Hailey Bass, Maralyn Gomez and McKenzie scored for the Raiders (3-3-1).
Falcons blank Raiders
GREENSBORO — Southeast Guilford pitchers Bailey Steed and Zack Canada combined for a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over Richmond Senior Wednesday night.
James Buie, Joseph Griffith and Cody Leviner each had a hit for the Raiders (8-5-1).
“We ran ourselves out of several innings,” Richmond coach Ricky Young said. “We had runners at second and third with one out and Bradley (Brown) hits a liner to short and we get doubled off second. We had two runners picked off first by the catcher. We have to get better at base running.”
Buie scattered eight hits in five innings, walked two, struck out eight and surrendered both runs to be saddled with the loss. Leviner pitched a perfect sixth, striking out one.
“James worked out of some jams,” Young said. “He pitched well enough to win.”
Richmond will return to Southeastern Conference action 7 p.m. Friday when it plays host to Hoke. The Raiders defeated the Bucks 10-0 in the first meeting.
Richmond sweeps SEC tennis titles
RAEFORD — Colt Auman breezed to the Southeastern Conference singles championship Wednesday afternoon.
It wasn’t so easy for Richmond Senior’s doubles team of Andrew Balzer and Brandon Ingram.
Auman defeated Josh Barnes of Pinecrest 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals. He topped Pinecrest’s Jacob Johnson 6-1, 6-2 in the finals to win his first SEC singles crown. Two years ago, Auman teamed with his brother, Alex, to take the doubles title.
In the doubles, Balzer and Ingram opened the day with 6-1, 6-1 victory over Pinecrest’s Don Campbell and Zack Smith in the semifinals.
Then the pair ran into problems in championship match with Scotland’s Robert Beacham and Walker Davis. The Scots’ duo has been the only team this season to defeat Balzer and Ingram.
Beacham and Davis won the first set, before Balzer and Ingram rallied to pull out the victory 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
It feels good winning it after coming in second last year,” Ingram said. “Both teams battled well but in the end we were able to pull it out”
Balzer thought once they won the semifinal match, the championship was in reach.
“It was competitive match and once we beat Don and Zack I felt confident we could win it all,” he said. “I would also like to say that we have had a great year and I would like to thank Coach (Mike) James and Mr. (Chris) Auman and we are looking forward to regionals.”
John Pittman, who lost in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round, had a chance to claim the fifth automatic bid from the conference in singles with two victories Wednesday. Pittman’s bid ended when Purnell Swett’s Dylan Brooks posted a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Sports editor Shawn Stinson may be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.