ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond girls soccer team scored three goals in the final 15 minutes of Monday’s conference match with Lumberton in order to pull away and grab its third shutout win of the season.
After Lady Raider junior Morgan Hooks, midfielder, netted the game’s first score early in the first half, both teams went the next 52 minutes without a goal — although there were a number of scoring opportunities.
Jayana Nicholson broke the scoring drought with back-to-back goals in the 66th and 69th minutes, respectively, and then sophomore striker Carley Lambeth knocked one in from right outside the box to cap Richmond’s 4-0 home victory.
“You’ve got the lead when you’re ahead 1-0, but one little mistake or one little bad bounce that goes in the back of the net and now you’re tied 1-1,” head coach Bennie Howard said. “So that second goal meant a lot because it kind of takes a little bit of pressure off, and then we were able to get in another right after that.”
Nicholson, a junior midfielder, had a couple of chances to score earlier in the match but she wasn’t able to convert. Her shot from up close drifted wide right after she received a cross from Chloe Wiggins in the 19th minute. She then popped one up at the 14:57 mark in the second half, but that one also bounced to the right of the goal post.
Fortunately for Howard and the Lady Raiders, though, Nicholson kept shooting and it paid off in a big way.
“She had gotten kind of banged up against Jack Britt (on Friday) and I didn’t start her tonight for that reason,” Howard said of Nicholson. “I kind of felt like we could’ve survived maybe without her, but she proved me wrong and scored two goals.
“She’s a tough little cookie. I wish I had about 100 of her (on the team).”
Hooks’ goal, her first of the season, came off an assist from Wiggins in the 14th minute. Lambeth’s score, with 8:24 left in the match, looked as if it was going to be saved by Lumberton’s senior goalkeeper, Emma Barnes, but the ball slipped through her hands and just inched past the goal line.
Lumberton (3-4, 2-3 SAC) had a limited number of shots on goal in the conference matchup but the ones that came close to the net were saved by Richmond sophomore goalie Allexis Swiney, who deflected a lofty shot in 31st minute.
“It was a good win for us, especially after the way we played on Friday night,” Howard added. “Hopefully, we now have third place (in the conference) all by ourselves so we can get a couple more wins under our belts and get ready for the second round of conference play … because each game is important.”
Richmond (6-2, 3-2 SAC) will host conference foe Seventy-First on Wednesday and then welcome non-conference opponent Lee County on Thursday to wrap up this week’s three-game home stand.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.