Rider Ready To Return Home

Rider's boys soccer team conquered a hurdle Tuesday night, topping Fort Worth North Side, the team that ended their season last year.

But Friday afternoon, it's a whole new ball game.

"This is a new state for all of us," senior Juan Orozco said.

Rider will face San Elizario in the regional semifinals at Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. The Eagles advanced by defeating Brownwood 4-0.

"We got to pressure early and come out strong," senior Nathan Van De Vyvere said.

The defense has been key all season long. Rider's allowed only one goal in the last 13 games, all wins. The Raiders have posted six straight shutouts. The team's D has been dominant at home, allowing only one goal all year long.

"We feed off of it (the home crowd) pretty good," junior Hamilton Howard said. "We thrive off of pressure."

Offensively, junior Christian Okeke's coming off a one-goal, two-assist performance in the 3-0 win over North Side. He's now at 36 goals and 18 assists for the season. Senior Ruben Flores is the other double-double weapon, with 12 goals and 13 assists this year.

They pair lead a Raider offense that's dangerous in part because of that strong D.

"That allows them to be creative and do things that they wouldn't necessarily do within the system," junior Brandon Williams said. "We got their back. We got them."

Click on the video links to hear more about Rider's defense and about playing in front of the home crowd.