West Stanly men’s soccer claims first conference crown in 14 years

Published 4:31 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

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West Stanly’s soccer program entered Thursday’s game at Forest Hills needing a win to earn a share of the Rocky River Conference championship.

After going 2-2 in the first four conference matches of the season, West (14-6-1, 8-2 RRC) rallied to win the last six in a row and earn a share of the RRC title with Forest Hills, including Thursday’s 2-0 road win over the Yellow Jackets (11-10-1, 8-2).

The Colts’ first goal came in the 23rd minute when Jamie Jaramillo took a long throw-in and delivered a through ball to Elijah Morton. Morton gave it back to Jaramillo, who one-timed it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Seven minutes later, Morton delivered a long throw-in on goal, which Diego Vincieri headed into the net for the only other score in the game.

Defensive efforts from goalkeeper Harrison Goodall, defenders Elijah Moffit and Alex Gonzalez in the middle, along with the Huneycutt brothers, Smith and Reece, defending the sidelines, helped keep the Jackets off the scoreboard. Goodall had two big saves in the game, including stopping a penalty kick.

Goodall has been the Colts’ keeper since starting goalie, James Horton, was injured in the Central Montgomery game. Horton will be available for West Monday when the Colts, the No. 23 seed, travel to No. 11 Owen. West received the second 2A seed out of the RRC because seeding took place before Thursday’s result at Forest Hills.

Head coach Ivan Osorio, who played for West before graduating in 2004, has coached West the majority of the past decade. He said with most of the team coming back from last year, he knew the team had the opportunity to put together a strong season.

Injuries have impacted the season, Osorio added, including games when West had five starters out of the lineup.

“We had to manage that by moving some guys around. It worked out for us in the end,” Osorio said.

Winning a share of the RRC title, Osorio said, “is what we’ve been chasing” for his nine seasons with the team.

“We have had good teams and were right at it,” he said. “This season just came together, especially for the guys. It was what they wanted at the beginning of the season.”

Regarding Thursday’s win, the coach said he asked one player if they were ready for the game, to which he was told, “we’ve already won the game.”

This season, Jaramillo leads West with 13 goals, adding seven assists, while teammate Morton has added 12 goals and leads the Colts with 16 assists. Lucas Wheeler and Austin Griffin have nine goals each for West; Wheeler also has assisted on nine goals in 2022.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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