The Blue Tornado, in the midst of their best season in school history, scored four goals in the first half and added two more in the second half to take a 6-0 win over Gate City at Ernie Hicks Stadium.
The win was Richlands’ 20th in a row and clinched a home spot in the VHSL Class 2 quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Lady Tornado (20-0) will host the loser of Friday’s game between Radford and Appomattox. The winner will host the Lady Blue Devils that day in another state quarterfinal game.
Richlands controlled the ball most of the game, especially in the first half.
“If you have the ball and you’re on offense, you don’t have to worry as much about the defensive game,” said Tornado coach LaRhonda Lindsey. “We try to play possession and when we have possession, that’s a good thing.”
Mya Holmes had two goals and an assist, and Ellie Lindsey added two goals. Bailey Hurst had a goal and an assist and Rachel Carter had one goal.
Diversity in scoring and quickness made it difficult for Gate City (13-4-1) to defend.
“We try to change up things and man-mark a little. We knew some of their forwards are fast. Obviously, they’re a great team,” said Lady Blue Devils coach Mary Beth Vaughn.
“We were a little shaky at first, but then they started to dig in and they didn’t give up. That’s all you can ask. They didn’t give up.”
Richlands wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Hurst just 3:35 into the game.
The Tornado add their second goal with 21:46 left in the first half when Lindsey drilled a shot to the opposite side of the goal.
A second goal from Hurst came six minutes later to put Richlands ahead 3-0.
One minute and 13 seconds later, Holmes connected on a goal from 20 yards out to put the Tornado up 4-0 with 14:31 left in the opening half.
Richlands’ final two goals came early in the second half on shots from Carter and Lindsey.