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No. No. 4 Richmond uses 5 scorers to beat No. 5 Southern Lee in the tournament opener

Sophomore Makayla Brown (8) puts her first of two goals into the net during Monday’s conference tournament match. (Kyle Pillar, Sports Editor)

ROCKINGHAM – The passing and scoring lanes were wide open for the Richmond Senior High School girls soccer team on Monday.

The No. 4 Lady Raiders took full advantage and advanced in the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament.

With the help of five different scorers, Richmond defeated No. 5 Southern Lee High School 6-0. It was the second time in three tries this season that the Lady Raiders defeated the Lady Cavaliers.

Scoring a goal in the first half was freshman Colbie Covington, her fourth goal in two games.

Junior Hanna Smith scored early in the second half, sparking a five-goal explosion for the Lady Raiders in the final 40 minutes of play.

Sophomore Makayla Brown led the way with two goals late in the game, including her first career varsity tally. Also scoring for Richmond were junior Yarely Vargas and sophomore Ella Gibson.

Freshman Colbie Covington (4) spins around Anna Smith (3) during the first half of Monday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Despite scoring just one goal in the first half, Richmond kept up the attacking pressure and peppered the goal with a number of quality chances.

Through the first ten minutes, sophomore Yulissa Avalos, freshman Mariana Gonzlaez and Smith each had a shot on frame.

Junior goalkeeper Quanna Bostic, who recorded the clean sheet, saved a low shot from Ryan Phillips to keep the match scoreless.

Southern Lee (10-10) was whistled for a foul in the 12th minute, about 30 yards from the net. Gonzalez took a free kick and fired it into the penalty area, where Covington picked up the loose ball and tapped it high into the net, just inside the left post.

Bostic made another stop a few minutes later, Southern Lee’s last quality chance of the half, which was followed by shots on goal from senior Gabby Lutz, Covington and Gonzalez before the buzzer.

Six minutes into the second half, Covington made a run down the left side of the field and crossed the ball into the penalty area. The first shot bounced into traffic and off the far post, but Smith was there to use her right foot and score her goal.

Junior Hanna Smith (2) celebrates as Yulissa Avalos follows her goal. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

In the 53rd minute, Brown sparked Richmond’s next scoring run. She passed the Lady Raider bench and sent a perfect through ball to an advancing Gibson in the middle of the field.

Gibson ripped onto the frame, but her shot was deflected. To guide the ball into the net with a one-time shot, Vargas made it 3-0, with Gibson getting the assist.

Fifteen minutes would run off the clock before the Lady Raiders scored their fourth goal, Brown’s first of the game.

Gibson earned her second assist on a give-and-go with Brown, who moved around a defender and hit a tight-angle shot from 10 yards along the right side of the penalty area. She went high and to the back post for her first varsity goal.

Junior Yarely Vargas (15), fourth after her goal, and sophomore Ella Gibson (right) each had one score Monday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

The two sophomores, Brown and Gibson, continued to combine passes to combine for the Lady Raiders’ final two scores.

Gibson joined the scoring parade in the 77th minute, sending a low shot into the left post after an assist from Brown down the right.

Just 67 seconds later, Brown found himself in space on another deep run into the right corner. Brown caused the keeper to misstep her line and found the rope for a second time with a wide open net.

The No. 4 Lady Raiders (9-11-3) will look to defeat No. 1 Union Pines High School in the semifinals on Tuesday. The Lady Vikings (14-3-2) had a bye in the first round.

Starting at 6 p.m., the game will be played at North Moore High School due to a number of athletic events already scheduled in Union Pines.

The Richmond Observer will soon publish a photo gallery of Monday’s victory.