With a scheduled home match against perennial state power A.C. Flora on tap tonight, the Camden High boys’ soccer team tuned up for this evening’s Region 4-AAA opener with their second shutout in as many matches.
Coming off a 3-0 victory over Camden Military Academy on Saturday, Mark Chickering’s charges evened their ledger at 2-2 on the season with a 5-0 whitewashing over a visiting Buford squad which was happy to just be playing a match.
"This was Buford’s first actual contest of the season as all of their scrimmages and matches had been postponed due to rain," Chickering said of the Yellow Jackets.
"You could tell they were very excited at the chance to finally play somebody else because they really came out fast and pressed us a good bit. Eventually, we took command doing a good job of possessing the ball. We really moved the ball around well."
After an evenly played first 20 minutes, the Bulldogs started to take control of things when in the 22nd minute, Roberto Pena dribbled through Buford’s defense and fired one into the top right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Nine minutes later, Pena struck again, this time heading a Moises Mata corner kick past the BHS goalkeeper to give the hosts a 2-0 lead which they would maintain through halftime.
The Mata-Pena connection continued to keep paying dividends as in the 49th minute, Mata took a through pass from Pena and cut right through the defense and fired home a goal into the lower right corner.
At this point, the BHS netminder sustained an injury in colliding with Camden’s Nick Ranges on a 50/50 ball in the top corner of the box and was forced to leave the contest. A minute later, Camden struck again when Mata took a feed from Pena and sent a shot which rolled between the legs of the Jackets’ backup goalie.
Camden closed the scoring in the 53rd minute when freshman Hunter Webb got behind the defense and received a centering pass from Mata and squeezed home a shot inside the far post.
Mata and Pena finished the night with two goals each with Pena adding an assist while Mata contributed an assist of his own.
"It was a good game overall," Chickering said after the shutout victory. "We got to play a lot of guys and we played pretty well. The defense played well again and (goalkeepers) Richard White and Parker White combined for our second straight shutout. Hopefully, we built some momentum going into A.C. Flora (tonight.) We’ll need it for those guys."