HCC Men's Soccer 2014 Season Preview
Hagerstown, Md.- With the start of the 2014 season quickly approaching, the Hagerstown Community College men’s soccer team is eager to leave the 2013 season in the past. The Hawks finished 10-10-0 overall and 6-6-0 in the MDJUCO, but for the fourth time in six years, suffered a loss in the Region XX, Division I Semi-Finals.
Coaches Brian Eichelberger and Brandon Rethemeyer have overhauled the team, returning only five sophomores, in hopes to produce a winning attitude. “Having been a part of the HCC program for eight seasons, we’ve accomplished a lot great things, but we have yet to reach a Region Final,” stated Eichelberger. “After last season was very average, we needed to make drastic changes in order to propel this program to the next level. We are excited about the way our off season went and it’s time to see if all our hard work can off.”
HCC will be led by a trio of sophomore captains, Jonah Smith (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro), Dillon Eyler (Thurmont, Md./Catoctin), and Leland Creadick (Myersville, Md./Middletown). Smith, a First Team NJCAA Division I, Region XX and Second Team All-MDJUCO honoree last season led the Hawks with 31 points, on 10 goals and 11 assists. Eyler, started all 20 matches for the men’s team last year, and was awarded Second Team NJCAA Division I Region XX, while Creadick, also started each game, and scored two goals and added nine assists for 14 points. Smith will be called upon to do the scoring up front once again, while Eyler will move to midfield to join Creadick.
The remaining sophomores for the Hawks are Patrick Creadick (Myersville, Md./Middletown) and Jacob Hargett (Myersville, Md./Middletown). P.Creadick played in seven games, scoring one goal and added one assist before suffering a season ending knee injury. His rehabilitation has gone well in the offseason and he will add depth up front. Hargett, who recorded 10 points from three goals and four assists in 2013 will split time as a forward and midfielder this season.
Starting in defense, Hagerstown will see an entire freshman back line. Xavier Matthews (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) and Jacob Ernst (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) will both anchor the team at center-back, flanked by former Maryland State Champions, Mark Keating (Urbana, Md./Urbana) and Nery Feuntes (Gaithersburg, Md./Watkins Mill). Freshmen Zach Roberston (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) and Collin McViker (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) will be available to provide depth in the defense right away.
With the graduation of their starting goalkeeper, the Hawks will look to freshmen Cristian Mejia (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) and Shad Gordon (Needmore, Pa./Southern Fulton) to earn the spot. Mejia, an Honorable Mention All-Gazette player, also played in Mexico for a few years, while Gordon finished his senior year with 245 saves.
In the midfield, HCC will pair Eyler and L. Creadick with freshmen Bradly Mills (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) and Axel Lara (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) immediately. Mills was the back-to-back Washington County leader in assists, with 10 assists each season.
Up front, Freshman Jacob Bickley (Frederick, Md./Frederick), who recorded 26 points for the Cadets last year, will combine with Emmanuel Kondokwi (Sierra Leone, West Africa) to help take some of the pressure off Smith. Classmates, Lucas Moriera (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Colegio Adventista de Vitoria ) and Hart Weaver (Williamsport, Md./Williamsport) will also use their talent up front for the Hawks.
Hagerstown looks to be in the mix for the Region XX, Division I Championship this season, but Eichelberger and Rethemeyer recognize there will be no easy game for the Hawks this season. “Since we are such a young team, the freshmen really need to adapt to the college game quickly in order for us to see immediate success,” stated Rethemeyer. “We know last season wasn’t our best, and we want to return to the top of the conference. This group of players has really showed the heart to get us back to our winning ways.”