Story by Jon Dinan
GRAHAMSVILLE Sullivan West’s Richard Lander was electrifying in his team’s 4-0 victory over Tri-Valley on Friday. The senior midfielder scored two goals in the non-league contest and was a constant offensive threat as the Bulldogs won their second game of the year.
Lander’s first goal came about 10 minutes into the first half. Shooting straight away from about twenty feet out, Lander authoritatively buried a shot in the top right-hand corner of the goal just past the outreached finger tips of Tri-Valley’s diving goalkeeper, Nathan Bender.
Lander was not done there. Early in the early second half, he and teammate Eli Backmean collaborated on a trick in-bound play.
On a throw-in about 50 yards from Tri-Valley’s goal, Backmean passed the ball off Lander’s back. Lander went wide after Backmean regained possession. Backmean then passed the ball off to a wide open Lander in the left corner. With room to operate, Lander weaved through several defenders along the baseline before finding the left side of the goal where he quickly snuck a shot by Bender inside the left post.
“It’s a trick I learned while playing with Quickstrike FC, my club team in Newburgh,” said Lander.
Lander’s skills have captured captured the attention of several colleges such as Division III RIT and Division II Le Moyne.
Lander had a fair amount of support from his teammates in the victory over Tri-Valley. Ethan Seidel and Jared Ellsworth also scored goals for Sullivan West, now 2-5 on the season.
“This is a big win for us,” said coach Debbie Owen. “We have had a lot of tough losses this season. We’ve lost all but two of our games by just one goal.”
Tri-Valley remained winless at 0-10. “It’s been kind of a rebuilding year,” said Tri-Valley athletic director Derrek Adams.
“We lost quite a few seniors so there’s a lot of underclassmen on the team who are still adjusting to the level of competition,” Adams added.
Sullivan West travels to Liberty today for a 4:30 game.