The rider raiders are just two wins away from a trip so state and a chance to avenge last year's loss in the state final. This past week the raiders got two impressive wins. Their latest a 2-nothing shutout.
In the first half of rider's match against Granbury, it seemed like just about everything was going right, except of course the ball going into the net. But in the second half, going against the wind. Coach Josh Hill says Rider hit it's stride. "sometimes we feel like when we're going into the wind we have an advantage because we're able to expose the spacing in their defense, and use our speed to get behind it. That's exactly what happened. We got a couple through balls and Christian made a nice run and we got a good goal."
Christian Okeke added another goal shortly after the first, leading the raiders to the regional semifinal this Friday against Amarillo. Amarillo has beat the raiders twice this season, each time by just one goal. So is revenge on the raiders mind? According to Okeke, "yes it is. But we know that we can beat them. If we play our own game we'll have a good chance at beating them."
Corbin Dotson helped the raiders in goal on their way a shutout victory in the regional quarterfinal, thanks to some impressive goalkeeping in the second half. "Winning that game was a big step and now we're playing in the regional tournament so that means just two more games till we get to state and get to the final four so once you're there any team can win it. It just matters who does better that one game and who makes the least mistakes."
Last year's Raider squad put up ten goals without allowing a single one into the net on the way to last year's final. This year's squad has scored five and only allowed one. According to coach Hill, "last year's team it was an easier ride. This year's team is finding it's identity through each game. Different players are stepping up and different players are taking over big roles. It's slowly becoming it's own team."
This year's team says their first goal is to get to the final four. And with two wins at home this Friday and Saturday, they could do just that.