Chargers pull away from Lee County
Lee County and Northwood played a hard-fought scoreless soccer match for 55 minutes Tuesday evening.
Once Northwood’s Kavasia Hatch caught the Jacket defense by surprise and buried a low, driven shot into the Jacket goal in the 56th minute, the goals came pretty easy for the Chargers the rest of the way. J.R. Godwin, in the 65th minute, and Jonathan Perez, in the 70th minute, added goals and the Chargers beat Lee County 3-1.
The defensive struggle for most of the way came with plenty of action. The host Jackets kept more than their fair share of possession in the opening half and at one point had a 6-1 edge in shots.
Sophomore strikers Ian Frye and and Payton Jackson created a few attacks, as did the pace of sophomore Ivan Mireles from right midfield. The sprints forward, then a series of corner kicks around the 30-minute mark of the half, didn’t pay off.
After creating very little attacking in the early stages, Northwood threatened the Jacket goal late in the half, once with a free kick within shooting range, then with a couple of dangerous crosses and hectic play in front of the Jacket goal.
The first goal came without much warning. From a battle for possession in midfield, Angel Rosas booted a long ball toward the Jacket box, Hatch raced between two Jackets and fired a shot skipping into the net.
Nine minutes later, the Chargers got another goal, one they’d be very happy to have less than two minutes later. After a long free kick into the Jacket box, then a headed shot hitting the crossbar, Lee County couldn’t clear the danger and Godwin scored from close range.
Moments later, Lee County attacked the Charger box and Jacob Baker was pushed in the back while trying to gather a bouncing ball.
Eric Reyes slammed the penalty kick into the net, making it 2-1 Chargers with 13 minutes to play.
The Yellow Jackets had to keep pressing players forward and Northwood took advantage with another long ball and sudden strike. Again, Rosas played the pass, and this time Perez was making the run and fired past Martin Gomez making it 3-1 in the 70th minute.
Gomez made three saves for the Jackets. Northwood split the keeping duties in the non-conference match. Brett Svendsen made two saves in the first half and Ian Webster made three saves in the second half. Lee County outshot the Chargers 14-10 in overall shots.
Lee County (0-2) moves on to its Cape Fear Valley debut, hosting Gray’s Creek at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Northwood (2-1), having been realigned from 2A to 3A and the Big Eight Conference, gets one more tune-up before its first conference match, hosting Jordan-Matthews at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.