Looking ahead to the top Midlands soccer matches on Friday:
Irmo (4-1) at Lexington (6-0)
It’s a rematch of last season’s Class 4A state championship match won by Irmo in a dramatic shootout finish in Phil Savitz’s last game as Yellow Jackets coach. Irmo is off to a good start under new boss Matt Brophy, losing only to Northwestern (in a shootout) in the championship of the inaugural Bryan Ostrower Soccer Showcase hosted by NW Lexington went 4-0 without allowing a goal at its own preseason tournament – Cats Kick Cancer Kickoff Classic. The Wildcats beat Region 5-4A rival Aiken 4-0 in the title match Irmo nipped neighboring rival Dutch Fork on Tuesday on goals by Chichi Ogbonna and Luis Arrendondo. Lexington blew by Ridge View, 6-2, on Tuesday with Brett Smith and Adam Hicks scoring two goals apiece.
Chapin (4-1) at A.C. Flora (2-2-1)
It’s a key early Region 4-3A match. Chapin went 9-1 on the way to the region title last season while the Falcons finished second at 8-2 Fifth-ranked Chapin reached the third round of the Class 3A state playoffs a year ago. The Eagles opened Region 4-3A play with a 3-1 win against Westwood on Tuesday as Alex Arthur scored two goals. Arthur leads the team with four goals and shares the team scoring lead with Connor Steffy, who has three goals and two assists for eight points. Steffy also has a 0.61 GAA in shared keeper time with Jaime Garcia Flora opened the regular season with a 5-2 region win over Camden after going 1-2-1 at the Lexington preseason tournament.
Brookland-Cayce (3-2) at Bishop England (2-2)
B-C has put on some miles so far this season. This will be the Bearcats second early-season trip to the Lowcountry; this time, to face defending Class 2A state champion Bishops. B-C went 2-2 at a preseason tournament at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. The Bearcats, ranked No. 8 in 3A, opened the regular season with a 2-1 win over Dreher BE has lost two in a row, including a 2-0 Region 6-2A decision on Wednesday to Academic Magnet.
A.C. Flora (2-1-1) at Chapin (3-1)
Class 3A second-ranked Flora launched its defense of the Region 4-3A championship with a 3-0 win over Camden on Tuesday after a 1-1-1 showing at the Taco Bell Viking Cup Fifth-ranked Chapin finished two games off the Falcons winning pace last season but was the only region team to knock off the champs. ManKenzie Hooker and Sydney Varn tallied two goals apiece in Chapin’s 10-0 region-opening win over Westwood on Tuesday.