ROCKINGHAM — A solid game from senior goalkeeper Marco Acosta, and a score from junior striker Carlos Alcocer, helped the Raiders end a two-game skid after back-to-back conference losses.
Acosta kept himself active between the goal posts Wednesday night, making “some key saves” in order to hold the Pirates without a goal for only the second time this season. The senior’s efforts were highlighted by a diving recovery in the first half and saves inside the 41st and 62nd minutes, respectively.
Alcocer did his part in the 47th minute, netting the game’s only score from the right side of the field and ultimately leading the Richmond boys soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Lumberton.
“Good win tonight against a good team. The boys played well…so I’m happy there,” coach Bennie Howard said. “And Marco came up with some big plays tonight, so hats off to him.”
Richmond (5-3, 2-2 SAC) picked up its second conference victory while donning its new Nike uniforms. Howard said the jerseys came in about a month ago — and the team already had the socks — but the shorts didn’t arrive until last Thursday.
Wednesday’s game against Lumberton seemed to be the perfect night to unveil the new look, as the Raiders were back at home after a road loss last week and were facing one of the two SAC teams with a conference loss.
“I told them that if we lost this game, we were going back to Adidas,” Howard joked.
One of the most noteworthy sequences of the match happened in the 22nd minute when Richmond’s junior midfielder Evyn Brower found himself free after a defender mistimed his jump. Brower took a shot but Lumberton goalkeeper Joan Carillo was able to get a hand on the ball — which led to another Raider shot on goal that was blocked by the leg of Lumberton senior defender Kendric Perry.
In the midst of everyone scrambling to either put the ball in the net or keep the ball away from the net, another shot was taken and another save was made by Carillo. The ball was eventually cleared out.
The Raiders missed a few other opportunities to leave their mark on the scoreboard, but Alcocer’s goal was enough to save the day — helping them get back into the win column and keeping them in the conference race.
“It was frustrating for them and for me,” Howard said of the two-game losing streak. “But this should leave a good taste in our mouths.”
Richmond has a quick turnaround, as it hosts non-conference opponent Forest Hills on Thursday at 6 p.m.
NOTE: The junior varsity boys soccer team shutout Lumberton as well, earning a 4-0 victory Wednesday afternoon.
The Raiders’ three-goal performance in the first half got them off to a fast start and then freshman forward Noah Aiken capped things off with a goal in the 68th minute — the only goal scored in the second half.
The JV squad (4-3) is right back at it Thursday, kicking off the program’s home doubleheader against Forest Hills at 5 p.m.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.