RICHMOND — Kelsea Anair was one of the state’s leading goal scorers a season ago, and the senior striker did not wait long to pick up where she left off.

Anair netted a hat trick in the first half Saturday morning to help pace the Richmond girls soccer team to a 5-0 victory over Rangeley in the Class D South opener for both teams.

“At the beginning, I think it was just first-game jitters,” Anair said. “Maybe we were a little nervous or even a bit too pumped for the beginning of the season, but once we started to get some goals, we kind of felt it out from there and pushed on from that.”

The start of the season was not the only thing that was weighing on Anair’s mind Saturday. Thanks to her hat trick against the Lakers, she is now just 27 goals away from the school record for career goals of 104 held by Danica Hurley. Anair had 42 goals in her junior season.

“I’ve got a calendar at home with all my preseason, postseason and all my goals and everything like that,” Anair said. “I’m really pushing myself to be the best, I guess.

“I want to try to get it done during the regular season before postseason, definitely.”

While the final score ultimately settled decidedly in favor of the Bobcats, it took the defending regional champs the better part of the first half to get going.

“This is a good group. They’re really supportive, very positive. I think they were just overexcited for the first game of the season,” Richmond coach Troy Kendrick said. “It just took us a while to settle in.”

Ultimately, though, it was Anair that opened the flood gates for Richmond.

In the 19th minute she took a feed from about 25 yards out from Meranda Martin, dribbled right inside the 18-yard line and tucked the ball inside the left corner.

Anair struck again in both the 35th and 36th minutes, first cleaning up a loose ball in the box initially sent in off a corner from her cousin, Destiny Anair, and then burying a shot from 15 yards out on a nice set up from Molly Meagher.

Martin capped off the half in fine fashion for the Bobcats, heading the ball into the back of the net with 52.1 seconds left off a perfectly placed corner kick from Destiny Anair to give Richmond a 4-0 lead at the break.

The Bobcats tacked on one more early in the second half when Autumn Acord put home a pass from Meagher.

“The last 20 minutes of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half — that middle 40 — I thought we did some really nice things,” Kendrick said. “We kept ball possession, created a bunch of good opportunities, finished them off and really limited their scoring chances.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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