The 2010 South Piedmont Conference (SPC) race began this year with an eight-team All-Cabarrus county league for the first time in decades.
But the last two weeks of the regular season will be a three-horse race.
Northwest Cabarrus (10-0-1, 8-0) is the top team having not lost a game all year, including wins against Jay M. Robinson and Cox Mill to give themselves control of their own destiny.
The Trojans, ranked No. 10 in the state, have dominated the conference, outscoring SPC opponents 39-8 in eight games.
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Jay M. Robinson (8-5, 8-1), the winners of six straight games, is right on Northwest Cabarrus' heels. Robinson's only loss came at home against the Trojans in a 5-3 game.
In its first season as a program, Cox Mill (12-3, 7-2) also has a chance to win the SPC but will have to jump both Robinson and Northwest Cabarrus to do so, which won't be easy.
No matter what happens, or who wins the SPC, things will be dramatic in the last weeks of the season.
After battling 4A state power Lake Norman for supremacy in the North Piedmont conference for the past few years, no team in the SPC will intimidate the Trojans.
Northwest Cabarrus now will have to get used to playing the favorite, not the underdog. The Trojans, led by all-region forward Erica Merriman, control what happens in the SPC race after beating Cox Mill and Robinson on the road. If they take care of business in next few weeks, the SPC is theirs.
If they don't, the May 7 date at home against Cox Mill could have major significance in the SPC standings.
Jay M. Robinson
After stumbling out of the gates in non-conference play, the Bulldogs have won their last six games to make themselves a major factor in the SPC race.
Robinson, who spent most of its time in the 4A ME-CA 7 in the middle of the pack, would love to make Northwest Cabarrus sweat the SPC race down to the wire. Robinson will also need to be wary of Cox Mill.
Seniors Becky Darnell and Izzy Bernal can make things happen and will need to if Robinson can make a regular or postseason run.
The Chargers have made amazing strides in just their first year as a soccer program.
What Cox Mill lacks in experience, they have made up for with talent and hustle. Cox Mill starts five freshmen, which does make life a bit more unpredictable.
Three former solid Trojan players in junior defender Mollie Calloway and sophomores forwards Kaylee Akers and Denay Hayden are the team's top players.
The Chargers lost to both Northwest Cabarrus and Robinson, which forces them to win out if they want any share of the SPC crown.
Cox Mill's team is playing like a veteran squad and should have a shot at the May 7 game at Northwest Cabarrus for a piece of the SPC title.
Hickory Ridge and Mount Pleasant have been competitive in the SPC so far, but will have little chance of beating the top three teams. The Ragin' Bulls and Tigers might be fighting for the SPC's last playoff spot, so there is a lot to play for.
A.L. Brown, Concord and Central Cabarrus would have to pull off a massive upset just to beat any of the top five teams in the league.