Richmond’s Jordan McGuire (28) moves against the defense of Jay County’s Kyra Braun on Tuesday at Lyboult Field.
Finishing shots has been a point of emphasis for Jordan McGuire during preseason practices.
That wasn’t a problem for the Richmond senior Tuesday.
McGuire scored four goals — and very nearly had a fifth a few times — as the Red Devils opened their 2014 girls soccer season with a 4-0 victory over Jay County.
“I was not expecting that,” McGuire said. “Lately in practices I haven’t been finishing my shots as much. I’m glad that I came out and was able to finish.”
McGuire found the back of the net twice in each half on a hot and humid day on the turf of Lyboult Field.
She picked up right where she left off in 2013.
McGuire was the Red Devils’ leading scorer a year ago, and she took advantage of ample opportunities in the Devils’ debut.
McGuire struck for her first goal with 22:58 remaining in the first half, then staked the Red Devils to a 2-0 lead about 3 minutes later.
“We really enjoyed having a good first game, getting out there on the pitch for the first time,” McGuire said. “It was great to come out and being able to apply what we’ve gotten into in our practices and have a great beginning to the season.”
Samantha Wilson, Emma Lady and Julia Keene provided assists for RHS, while the Red Devil defense and goalkeeper Nikki Mittenhal combined for the shutout.
“We had a lot of transition going. We’re working on keeping that team defense, and I think we did a much better job getting back as a group and staying a little bit more organized,” said RHS coach Eric Wilson. “We still have some work to do. They still had some opportunities going forward.”
McGuire converted with about 32 minutes remaining in the game for goal No. 3, then made it four when she scored with 29:48 left.
She had a couple more strong attempts at the goal, including a shot that struck the near side netting of the goal and another that ricocheted off the cross bar.
“We kind of started a little bit slow, but we really got our feet under us and started putting the right moves together,” Wilson said. “It’s nice to come away with the victory.”
The Red Devils aim to build off a solid 2013 campaign that saw them finish 10-6-3 and advance to a sectional final.
Richmond sees a possible sectional opponent this Thursday when the Devils play host to Connersville at 6 p.m. on Lyboult Field.
“We want to get after it again,” Wilson said. “We get to see early in the season what we might be up against come tournament time.”
Added McGuire: “We’re all looking forward to it. We love playing and getting out there.”
Sports editor Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463, email@example.com or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI