Weekend ThunderSports update

Men’s soccer team wins fifth national championship in six years; women finish third

HERKIMER, N.Y. – The T-Duck men’s soccer won its fifth NJCAA Division III national championship in the last six years on Saturday, while the women finished third in the national tournament.

Richland, which was the No. 4 seed in the national tournament, opened play with a huge 1-0 shutout victory in the semifinal round over the No.1 seed and then-undefeated Union College before needing overtime to defeat Ulster County Community College (Stone Ridge , N.Y.), 1-0, in the title game.

On paper, it looked as if Union College (Cranford , N.J.) – which beat Herkimer County Community College (Herkimer , N.Y.), 2-0, to advance to the title game – was the better team as it compiled a 21-0 record and had three of the nation’s top five scorers.

However, Richland also had talent.

Entering the tournament, according to reports, Richland was led by David Freeland, who had 27 points (13 goals and one assist) and Carlos Videla, who had 22 points (six goals and 10 assists), while T-Duck goalie Juan Giraldo, who had 78 saves, ranked second in the country with a .556 goals against average.

On the women’s side, the T-Ducks, who entered the national tournament as the defending champions, lost, 2-1, to Gloucester County College in the semifinal round before winning the third place game against Howard Community College on penalty kicks.

After the T-Ducks’ game ended in a 0-0 tie against Howard Community College, Richland won 3-2 on penalty kicks.

The women finished the season 16-4-1.

Basketball team splits two games over the weekend

WARNER, OKLA – Carderious Smith and Jeff Steinbaugh led the Richland basketball team to a 74-69 victory over Murray State College on Friday with 13 points apiece before the T-Ducks lost, 70-60, to Conner’s State College on Saturday.

According to Richland coach Jon Felmet, the T-Ducks held a 34-30 halftime lead before they picked up the intensity and was able to hold on for the win.

Smith also had nine rebounds while Steinbaugh tallied nine assists and five rebounds. Keith Wright and Antwan Mullins also chipped in 10 points and nine points, respectively, while Johnny Taylor led Richland with 11 rebounds.

Against Conner’s, Felmet said the T-Ducks’ played their best defense of the year. However, Richland trailed 31-21 at halftime.

Like the T-Ducks (3-2) have done all season, Richland came out aggressive in the second half, and with 2:30 left in the game, Antwan Mullins tied the game at 56 after hitting two clutch free throws.

Conner’s responded with a three-point play in which a player was fouled and converted the free throw. Richland then turned the ball over on its next trip up the court and a foul, again, led to a 3-point play as Conner’s put the game out of reach.

The T-Ducks were led by freshmen Antwan Mullins (17 points, seven assists and 4 rebounds), Steinbaugh (12 points, two assists and two rebounds) and Wright (11 points, three assists and six rebounds). Tony Bishop also had eight points and six rebounds, and playing in his first start, Giordan Cole led the T-Ducks with seven rebounds to go with four points.

This week’s home games

Wed., Nov. 14, Richland basketball vs. Ranger College, 7 p.m.