BOYS SOCCER

Jordan-Matthews looks like the team to beat in county so far

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Nearly at the midway point of the conference schedule, the Jordan-Matthews boys soccer team looks again to be the top side in Chatham County this fall.

The Jets are 9-3-1 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A Conference. J-M has won three games in a row, including a 2-0 road victory at Seaforth on Monday. The Jets were originally supposed to play the game at home, but it was moved to the Hawks’ home stadium because football was played at Jordan-Matthews on Monday night.

The change in venue didn’t affect the Jets’ cohesiveness as a team.

Scoring the goals for Jordan-Matthews on Monday were seniors Paul Lujan and Juanito Hernandez Soto. The Jets have scored at least two goals in each of their past seven games. The last time they failed to do so was a 3-1 loss to Pine Lake Prep on Aug. 27.

Leading the charge in the attacking third for Jordan-Matthews this season is senior Zander Ocampo, who has 16 goals and three assists so far this season. Soto has eight goals and an assist, while Lujan has contributed two goals and a team-high nine assists in 13 games this season.

The Jets’ defense has also been strong so far in 2022. In 13 games, J-M has only allowed 18 goals, or 1.4 goals per game.

In net, seniors Ricardo Rocha and Angel Gonzalez have split time as the Jets’ keeper this season. The pair have combined for 52 saves so far this season and play a big part in organizing Jordan-Matthews’ back line.

The Jets are currently the only team in the Mid-Carolina Conference who have yet to lose a league match. The only other team in the conference with a winning record this season is North Moore, which is 5-1-1 on the year. J-M is trying to win its third straight league championship this season and is coming off a 2021 season that saw the team go 20-1-1 overall and lose in the fourth round of the state playoffs.

In the 3A Central Conference, Northwood is 5-6-1 overall and 3-2 in league play. The Chargers also played Monday night and earned a dramatic overtime win over Eastern Alamance.

Entering that match, Northwood’s leading scorer on the season was junior Ken Vazquez Alonzo, who had 11 goals and three assists so entering the week. Fellow junior Patrick Baquero has eight goals and an assist, while junior Rui Aguiar had four goals and eight assists.

Northwood also played a home conference game against Western Alamance on Wednesday (late score).

In the Central Tar Heel 1A Conference, Woods Charter has turned things around after a slow start to the season, going 2-1 in its first two league games. The Wolves defeated Clover Garden School on the road, 5-2, on Monday afternoon.

Woods scored five of its 11 goals on the season Monday night. The Wolves also had a hotly-contested matchup with Chatham Charter on Wednesday night (late score).

Chatham Charter entered the game 1-8 on the season and 0-1 in conference play. The Knights fell to Triangle Math & Science, 2-1, on the road Monday night.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at jeremy@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.

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