FAYETTEVILLE — A collective effort on both ends of the field propelled the Richmond girls soccer team to a 3-1 victory over No. 2 seed Jack Britt in the semifinal round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday.
On the offensive side, the No. 3 seeded Lady Raiders got three goals from three players in the win.
Sophomore defender Avy Lucero got an early free kick to slip through the opposing goalie’s hands, junior midfielder Jayana Nicholson scored from the right side of the field on a near-post shot in the second half, and senior striker Hanna Millen “scooped the ball into the back corner” nearly seven minutes after Nicholson’s goal.
As far as the team’s defensive efforts, sophomore goalkeeper Allexis Swiney held her own in only the second postseason game of her varsity career. Head coach Bennie Howard said she made “six or seven unbelievable saves” that kept Richmond in the game and its lead in tact after it had gone ahead on the scoreboard.
Jack Britt (13-6) netted its only goal of the game — tying the game 1-1 in the first half — after Swiney made contact with one of its players as they were preparing to take a shot inside the box. Swiney was forced to come out of the game and Howard put in freshman goalie Kelly Hoffman.
Although Hoffman made “a great save” on the penalty kick, the ball rolled back into the path of the Jack Britt player and she poked one into the back of the net.
“I thought we played a good game considering we had just come off playing on Tuesday night,” Howard said. “We had some tired legs and a couple (of) little injuries … so we’ll have a light practice and get ready for Pinecrest on Friday.”
Richmond (17-4) will compete against Pinecrest, the conference’s top seed, in the tournament championship game for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Lady Raiders dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime.
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.