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CLARKSBURG — Northwest Jaguars soccer star Chase Hayes and his teammates celebrated Thursday’s 2-0 road victory over the Clarksburg Coyotes with high fives and handshakes.
“This is our house, man,” Hayes said following the win.
“We worked hard,” added Hayes. “It was a great effort from the whole team and shoutout to our coach Kert Mease as well. He prepared us very well for this game and just a great effort from the whole entire team.”
Hayes, a senior defender, helped guide the Jaguars to their third win in five games.
“He’s really matured,” said Northwest head coach Kert Mease. “He’s an emotional leader. He works hard and obviously he’s very vocal and passionate but he’s versatile and can play all over the field but his effort has been great and I think guys feed off of that and that’s what we need out of a leader.”
The Jaguars rebounded from a loss to Gaithersburg that was described as “horrible” by Mease.
“This,” added Mease, “was a complete performance and they have some high quality players.”
Northwest scored both goals on penalty kicks in the first half and Clarksburg had no answer for their Germantown rivals.
Armaan Kureshi scored on a goal at the 27-minute mark to put the Jaguars up 1-0 and sophomore Samuel Zapata later added a goal at the 12-minute mark to cushion the Northwest lead.
The win marked Northwest’s third shutout victory this season; the Jaguars have defeated Sherwood, Blair and Clarksburg by a combined 9-0 score and have suffered losses to B-CC and Gaithersburg.
The Jaguars have received contributions from various players this season including Anthony Jimenez, Thomas Markey and Karthik Nambiar who have all played a key role in the team’s success. Eight different players have combined to score Northwest’s eleven goals this year.
Meanwhile, Northwest junior Ryan Oxenford was phenomenal in goal for the Jaguars and finished with ten saves.
“He’s a beast,” said Hayes. “That’s my boy.”
Oxenford kept the Clarksburg strikers at bay and knocked away shot after shot.
“He’s a great guy,” Hayes said about Oxenford. “I love him. He’s one of my closest friends and he’s always working hard trying to play his best and I just love him so much. He’s doing very well.”
Mease praised Oxenford’s performance this year and said he’s been a stabilizing force within the program.
“We just need the consistency and he’s become a leader,” said Mease. “He’s really solidified the position and we need it.”
Northwest is seeking to contend for a state championship this year and the Jaguars should make some waves throughout Montgomery County and beyond.
“Our season is just getting started,” someone blurted out during the team’s postgame meeting. “This is just the beginning.”
Whitman, Walter Johnson, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Churchill and Wootton are among the perennial heavyweight contenders in the county this year and Northwest could also make some moves around the region.
“We’re a work in progress,” said Mease, “but I was really pleased with what we did.”