RAEFORD — The Raiders may have dropped both games to Hoke County during the regular season, but they were able to earn a win over the Bucks when they needed it most.
Two goals from junior midfielder Carlos Alcocer helped the Richmond boys soccer team to a 2-1 victory in the opening round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament, keeping its state-playoff hopes alive.
“We played well. When you get to this stage of the season, you just have to survive and move on,” head coach Bennie Howard said.
All three goals were scored in the first 40 minutes, with both of Alcocer’s scores coming first — which gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead in the first half. He would put one in the back of the net inside the 17th minute and then follow with his second nearly seven minutes later.
Hoke (9-9-4) was able to get on the scoreboard after the Raiders committed a foul in the box and it took advantage of the game’s only penalty kick. The Bucks had three free kicks throughout the game but were unable to convert.
Neither team could slip one past the respective goalies in the second half.
Richmond (11-8-1) now advances to the semifinal round of the conference tournament, where it will face the regular season champion and No. 1 seed Pinecrest on Wednesday. That game will be played at 7:30 p.m. in Southern Pines.
“If we can get the ball wide and get some crosses in, we’ll see what happens,” Howard added. “As I’ve said before, it’s hard to beat a team three times. You don’t ever know what’s going to happen, so we’ve got to lace our boots up.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.