Richmond Senior girls soccer advances to SEC title game on Hooks’ late goal

By: By Leon Hargrove Jr. -

LUMBERTON — Following Richmond’s first-round win over Scotland on Tuesday, girls soccer coach Bennie Howard said his team needed to play “error free” at Lumberton in order to advance to the conference tournament championship game.

That’s exactly what the Lady Raiders did Wednesday evening.

Richmond (14-4-2) held Lumberton without a goal and grabbed a 1-0 victory in a game that lasted more 100 minutes. Morgan Hooks found the back of the net in the second of two five-minute, golden-goal halves.

Hooks’ score came after Altman Griffin’s free kick was blocked by the opposing goalie in the 108th minute.

“We played like we wanted it throughout the entire game and we came out on top. So I’m very proud of the girls,” Howard said.

Howard says his decision to “man mark” Lumberton’s Madison Sirmans helped the team out a lot. Kaiyah Sriratanakoul and Valerie Standridge took on that task and “did a job” in shutting down the Lady Pirates’ top player.

“I think that was a big key to the game,” Howard added. “She ended up getting a yellow card because she was frustrated.”

The Lady Raiders will face Pinecrest in SEC tournament championship game Friday evening.

“That’s the first time we’ve beat Lumberton in the last eight to 10 years. And the first time in a long time that the girls have advanced to the conference champoinship game,” Howard said. “So now we’re going to enjoy this for a little bit.”

Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.

By Leon Hargrove Jr.