Men's Soccer Releases 2014 Schedule
Hagerstown, Md.- Hagerstown Community College men’s soccer coaches Brian Eichelberger and Brandon Rethemeyer have announced the release of the 2014 men’s soccer schedule. The 19 game slate will kick off on August 28 and feature a number of challenging contests.
“I feel like we have a very tough, solid schedule that will prepare us for postseason play,” mentioned Eichelberger.
The Hawks open the season on the road against Northern Virginia Community College, before heading to Wilmington, NC to participate in The Cape Fear Invitational on August 30 and August 31. Hagerstown continues their travels when they take on MDJUCO opponent Cecil College on September 3. In their last six matches, the Hawks are 5-0-1 against Cecil College.
Hagerstown hosts Prince Georges Community College on September 10 for their home opener before traveling to 2013 Region XX, Division III Champion, Montgomery College Rockville on September 12. MC finished the season ranked 4th in the nation with a 22-3-0 overall record. “It will be crucial that we are playing quality soccer by the time we face Rockville, because they are always a top contender in the MDJUCO,” mentioned Rethemeyer.
The Hawks return home on September 17 to face Howard Community College before traveling to Arnold, MD for a match against Anne Arundel Community College on September 19. Hagerstown earned their first win over the Pioneers in six years, when they defeated them last year 3-0.
The HCC men then get to return to their home pitch for four consecutive matches against two conference and two non-conference teams. On September 22, the Hawks take on Westmoreland, whom they defeated 6-2 last season, before playing host to Harford Community College on September 24. The Fighting Owls have shut out the Hawks in their last three matches by an overall score of 15-0. “Harford is a strong team that has improved greatly over the last few seasons,” stated Eichelberger. “They have really had our number and we need to start keeping pace with them.”
The Hawks continue their tough home stand when they face back to back Region XX Finals participants. The College of Southern Maryland, who lost to Essex Community College in penalty kicks of the Division I Finals, comes to Hawk Field on September 26. Just three days later, HCC plays host to Potomac State, who lost to Montgomery College Rockville in the Division III Finals. “Having a home field advantage for these games should help us, as both of these squads are top quality competition,” quoted Rethemeyer.
Hagerstown then must play three games in four days, by first traveling to nearby Frederick Community College on October 1 for MDJUCO action. HCC is 6-0-0, while outscoring FCC 34-2 in the previous matches. On October 3, the Hawks host Region XX, Division I Champion and NJCAA Tournament participant CCBC-Essex before traveling to New Jersey the following day for kickoff against non-conference Mercer Community College.
HCC stays on the road for a matchup against CCBC-Catonsville on October 8 and then returns for their final home game on October 10 against Chesapeake Community College.
The Hawks conclude their regular season with back-to-back road games on October 13 against Allegany Community College and then October 15 against Delaware Tech-Stanton.
The Region XX Playoffs begin on October 25 with first round action at the higher seed, while the semi-finals and finals will take place at CCBC-Dundalk on October 29 and November 1. The winner of the Region will advance to the NJCAA National Tournament on November 17-22 in Prescott, Arizona.
“Last season we struggled with injuries and with a schedule packed with so many tough teams, we cannot afford to be anything less than 100%,” mentioned Eichelberger. “We are fully confident that if our guys can gel early and play quality soccer, we will be where we expect come postseason. It is a long, grueling season and the guys need to come into preseason in shape and ready to go.”