James leads Oak Ridge by Cordova, 2-1

By: Brett Ransford Telegraph Correspondent
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With four games under their belts, the Oak Ridge Trojans boys’ soccer team evened their preseason record with a 2-1 win over visiting Cordova on Monday. Oak Ridge improved to 2-2 after losing its first two games of the season in back-to-back shutouts and struggling to find offensive production. After a blowout 8-0 victory against Union Mine, the Trojans relied on Doug James, who delivered two goals just minutes after Cordova took a 1-0 lead. Ben Brazzel and Cameron Perkins assisted James in the 51st and 64th minutes. Cordova’s goal in the 43rd came on one of its four shots on goal in the match. James has recently made the transition from defender to forward, a position he said he’s more comfortable playing. Moving Oak Ridge defenders to a forward position is what lost the Trojans one of their senior captains, Payam Mowzooni, on Friday. Mowzooni said he tore some ligaments in his right foot in a practice and is not expected back soon. James, however, made a clean transition and plans to contribute more in games ahead. “This is that one win we need to show that we’re up to par with the other teams in our league,” said James. “I’ve been playing defense for awhile, but now that I’m up there it feels a lot better.” The Trojans’ offense was noticeably more potent than in its last loss, a 2-0 match against McClatchy. Oak Ridge had at least nine shots in each half, 19 total, and 12 were on frame, including one off the crossbar in the first half by freshman midfielder Alec Hester. “[James] is my oldest friend and I’ve played soccer with him for a long time. I know him as specifically a forward because of his speed,” said Mowzooni, who was on the bench with crutches during the win. Oak Ridge has Cordova’s number, especially since transitioning to Division I. The Trojans haven’t lost to Cordova since 2008. The streak includes five-straight wins, two since joining the Delta River League.