Huey and Richards become lethal combination

Senior Chloe Richards attempt a shot against Alabama-Huntsville Oct. 17 in a 6-1 UNA victory. Richards’ experience, along with freshman teammate Kylie Huey’s energy, make a tough duo of forwards for opponents to stop.

by Associate Sports Editor Kadin Pounders

The Batman and Robin comparison is used frequently in sports.

The 1990s Chicago Bulls had Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and the 1980s San Francisco 49ers had Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Those are just two of the most famous couplings in sports, but there are still plenty of great combinations today.

The UNA soccer team has a dynamic duo of its own in senior forward Chloe Richards and freshman forward Kylie Huey.

Together, the two strikers have totaled 22 goals and 49 points this season. Richards and Huey have led the Lions to an 8-1-1 record.

UNA head coach Chris Walker said Richards’ notoriety as a scorer leads teams to use different tactics against her, including double and triple teams, but the game plan to stop Richards usually leaves holes in the opposition’s defense.

“If you don’t pay attention to (Richards), she has the ability to hurt you,” Walker said. “A lot of teams have man marked Chloe. That’s opened up space for other forwards like Kylie, who has had success early. Hopefully that combination between the two can keep going.”

Richards, the NCAA Division II Player of the Year last season, has already racked up two Gulf South Conference Player of the Week awards to go along with her NCAA-leading 16 goals on the season and 57 career goals.

While scoring a ton of goals is fun, Richards knows having multiple scoring threats makes UNA a more efficient team.

“The fact that I was scoring nearly all of the team’s goals last year was a problem for us,” she said. “We need multiple people having the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. It’ll help us win more games and be more successful. I think Kylie does well to get forward, run defenders down the wing and play a good ball into the box.”

Meanwhile, Huey, who is the second leading scorer on the team, received GSC Freshman of the Week honors for two consecutive weeks. Her six goals lead all freshmen in the conference.

The two-punch attack of Richards and Huey has been successful so far this season, but the two forwards are at two different points in their respective careers at UNA.

Richards is in the process of cementing a future hall of fame career built on a legacy of hard work and dedication.

“I hope my (extra training) has an effect on the other players,” Richards said. “They have all seen what amount of work I put in and know that’s why I’ve been as successful as I have. I want to show them that it’s just about how hard you want to work.”

At the same time, Huey is just beginning her collegiate career.

“Coming in as a freshman, I set goals for myself for the next four years here at UNA,” Huey said. “Knowing that this is just the beginning for me, I know I still have a lot to work on.”

As a freshman, Huey said Richards’ senior leadership has an impact on her away from the playing field.

“Off the field, I look up to (Richards) as a role model,” Huey said. “Chloe’s impact here at UNA is unbelievable. I hope that one day I can play at that level and make an impact as big as she did. But with that will take hard work, dedication and sacrifice.”

Huey and Richards look to continue their success Oct. 8 against Spring Hill College in a pivotal conference game.