LAURINBURG — Richmond Senior boys soccer coach Bennie Howard wondered aloud in the second half if his team was ever going to break the tie with Scotland.
It took just over 37 minutes, but the Raiders finally scored the game-winning goal Monday night.
But it wasn’t easy.
Sergio Charparo launched a shot off a free kick which Scotland goalkeeper Victor Still initially stopped, but bobbled the ball before it bounced away and crossed the goal line to break a 2-all tie to push the Raiders into a Southeastern Conference semifinal matchup with regular season champion Pinecrest.
“We got lucky,” Howard said. “Sergio said it was a knuckler which he struggled to stop.”
The Raiders (11-4-3) fired 10 shots at goal in the second half before Charparo was able to squeeze a shot past Still.
“We had some good opportunities to put the game away,” Howard said. “We had point-blank shots we just shot at their keeper. We kept pounding them with shots and something good finally happened.”
Scotland coach Colin McDavid thought his team played well but was hurt offensively when he was forced to move Still from forward to goalkeeper. Still recorded one of the Fighting Scots’ goals in the loss.
“That really hurt us because we didn’t have the fire power up front,” McDavid said of the position change. “When I pulled Victor off the front, it plugged one hole, but we didn’t have the same speed up front.”
In the other opening round contest, Hoke County blanked Purnell Swett 9-0. The Bucks will battle Lumberton at 7 p.m., while the Raiders and the Patriots will take to the pitch at 5 p.m.
Wakefield eliminates Richmond
RALEIGH — Richmond Senior’s first appearance in the volleyball state 4A playoffs was a brief one.
Wakefield routed the Raiders 25-9, 25-2, 25-3 Saturday afternoon to improve to 17-5 on the year. The Wolverines will face Person tonight in the second round. The Rockets advanced following their 3-0 victory over Holly Springs.
Richmond closes out its season with a 11-12 record.
In other games involving Southeastern Conference schools, Scotland (22-0) swept Southeast Raleigh 3-0 to set up a second-round showdown with Terry Sanford. The Bulldogs (20-4) knocked out Clayton in four games.
Pinecrest also moved into the second round with a sweep of E.E. Smith. The Patriots (19-3) will battle Pine Forest tonight. The Trojans remained undefeated this season with a 3-0 win over New Bern.
Raider duo ousted in first round
FAYETTEVILLE — The Richmond Senior doubles team of Abbi Carpenter and Haleigh Denham were knocked out of the 4A East Regional tournament by Terry Sanford’s Huda McGraw and Laura Hatcher, the No. 3 seeds.
McGraw and Hatcher cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Carpenter and Denham. The Bulldog duo advanced to this weekend’s state tournament.
Rockingham advances to championship match
The Rockingham Middle School volleyball team slipped past East Hoke 16-25, 25-13, 25-12, 11-25, 15-12 Monday afternoon. The Rockets will face Sycamore Lane 4 p.m. Thursday in the championship tilt. Leading servers for Rockingham were: Ally Roberts with 25 points; Cher Morse with 18; Nicole Beggs had 17; and Nalee Jacobs with 16.
Hamlet falls to Sycamore Lane
Sycamore Lane advanced to the middle school title match after defeating Hamlet in three games. Sycamore Lane won 25-10, 25-7, 25-23. Leader servers for Hamlet was Altman Griffin with 12 points and an ace.