Richmond’s offense received its wake-up call Saturday night.
The Red Devils started a new tradition, too, as they helped coach Matt Haynes to his first win leading the RHS boys soccer program.
Richmond rang the Victory Bell after its 5-2 win as the Red Devils made their debut on the new turf at Lyboult Field.
“It is very nice. It takes a lot of pressure off,” said Haynes, whose team improved to 1-2. “We didn’t score in our first two matches. Getting three goals within 15 minutes, it takes the pressure off.
“This is the kind of game we were looking for — start off fast, especially on this field.”
No problem there.
Richmond scored three times in less than 9 minutes. Jack Mehaffie put the first goal of Richmond’s 2013 season in the back of the net, and Kevin Mendoza quickly followed with two more as RHS held a 3-0 advantage with 31:44 left in the first half.
Mendoza scored once again to complete the hat trick after he converted midway through the second half.
“This one was for the entire team,” Mendoza said through translator and teammate Omarr Melendez. “It was just a good feeling to come out, play and get the win.”
Eaton didn’t go away quietly.
The Eagles, from just across the border in Ohio, cut the deficit to 3-1 soon after Mendoza’s first goal.
Josh Chandler scored for Eaton with 30:45 to go, the final goal of the first half.
Senior Austen Alexander also scored for the Eagles in the second half, once again making it a two-goal game when he converted with just under 15 minutes remaining.
“We settled down after the first 10 minutes,” said Eaton coach Eric Kiracofe. “We settled back defensively a little bit and started possessing the ball better. That was what we’ve been working on all season so far.
“They battled back. They worked hard the entire game. They never gave up, even though the score was 5-2 in the end. They kept going.”
Melendez effectively put the game out of reach with the Devils’ final goal with 8:49 to play off an assist by Mehaffie.
“It was great to really close out the game,” Melendez said.
” … I feel like scoring that last one really gave us the hope to finish it completely.”
All that was left was to ring the bell.
Richmond’s soccer teams formerly played at Freeman Park, but are now hosting home games on the renovated Lyboult Field.
“It’s so nice to be out there, with this beautiful field,” Haynes said. “Ringing that bell, it’s a Richmond tradition. We want to be a part of it, and we’re here, so we can be a part of that.”
Eaton (1-1-1) plays host Tuesday to Bellbrook. Richmond is off until Thursday when the Red Devils travel to face Franklin County.
Richmond’s next home game is Sept. 3 against Rushville.
“We want to obviously continue the momentum we have now,” Haynes said. “Hopefully the goals just keep coming.”