ROCKINGHAM — An alignment change provided the lift Richmond Senior needed in its boys soccer season opener.
Richmond coach Bennie Howard went to a diamond from a flat back after halftime and the results paid off immediately. The Raiders scored back-to-back goals within a minute of each other in the second half to rally for a 2-1 victory over Southern Lee Monday night at the Ninth Grade Academy.
Both of Richmond’s tallies came following handball penalties on the Cavaliers.
The first came two minutes into the second half. On a free kick, Armando Garcia lifted a pass to Brantley Paul who headed the ball off the crossbar. On the rebound, Paul headed the ball again which appeared headed for the back of the net, when Southern Lee’s Derek Cannady reached out with his hand to prevent the goal.
Cannady was issued a red card and Richmond (1-0) was awarded a penalty kick for the infraction. Josh Swails sent the ball into the right half of the net to tie the game at 1-all.
Moments later on a Richmond counterattack, Southern Lee was called for another handball two yards outside the penalty area. On this freekick, Gary Boyette hammered a shot past the Cavaliers’ Colin Yoder for the game-winner.
“We played much better in the second half,” Howard said. “We should have been down 3-0 at halftime. We had too many touches and we didn’t execute by getting the ball wide to our wings and getting some crosses.”
Southern Lee (0-1) dominated play in the first 40 minutes firing eight shots at Richmond goalkeeper Chris McDonald. The Cavaliers goal came halfway through the first half when Zach Westem deflected a shot from Arturo Aquirre past McDonald.
Like Richmond in the second half, Southern Lee appeared to have scored its second goal of the contest just moments after its initial tally. Alex Palme seemed to have scored off a cross, but was ruled offsides, nullifying the goal.
The Raiders will return to action 6 p.m. Wednesday at East Montgomery.
In the junior varsity contest, Richmond’s Bryce Dexion scored the game’s only goal to lead the Raiders to a 1-0 win over the Cavaliers.
Richmond swept in volleyball opener
ROCKINGHAM — Union Pines rolled to a 25-13, 25-18, 25-12 victory over Richmond Senior in the volleyball season opener for both schools.
“They were a good team and we hung with them and volleyed with them,” Richmond coach Shellie Wimpey said. “We have a lot of potential and will get better the more we play.
“Playing tough teams will get us ready for conference.”
The Raiders (0-1) will return to the court at 6 p.m. Wednesday at home against South Robeson.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com