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Men's Soccer Reloads for 2015 Season

Hagerstown, Md.- The 2015 season is a new beginning for the Hagerstown Community College Men’s Soccer team. After a disappointing 2014 campaign which saw the Hawks win only six games, the men reloaded in the offseason and are ready to make a statement in MDJUCO. HCC is returning just three players, but 18 freshmen join the program to give the Hawks one of their strongest and deepest teams in history. With head coach Brian Eichelberger entering his 10th and final season, Hagerstown is looking for a winning season and to challenge for the highly-regarded league title.

Three weeks into preseason, the team is looking forward to their scrimmages against Shenandoah and Frostburg. “The guys have worked really hard each session and have bonded together,” mentioned Eichelberger. “Last year we lacked chemistry and the work ethic needed when times got tough and it was indicative of the results. This group of guys is playing for one another, supporting, and respecting each other. It’s a fresh start.”

Playing key roles for the turnaround season will be sophomore captains Cristian Mejia (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) and Jake Ernst (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring). Mejia is looking to return to his goalbox after suffering a season ending injury to Catonsville with six games remaining in 2014. He still managed to receive three shutouts and record 135 saves. Ernst meanwhile was a mainstay in the Hawk defense and he is picking up right where he left off. Starting and playing in all 20 games, Ernst now posses the experience needed to anchor Hagerstown. “Cristian and Jake have really done a great job of leading this team in the offseason,” quoted Eichelberger.

Along with Mejia, freshman Tim Horning (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) will put on the gloves for the Hawks and stand in net. Freshmen Diego Claros (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) and Trey Jackson (Montgomery, Al./IMG Academy) have been the frontrunners to join with Ernst on the Hawk backline. Claros is a hard-nosed tackler, while Jackson hails from the prestigious IMG Academy and his 6’4 build garners attention right away. Freshman Logan Speak (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) will compete for time in the back as well.

The Hawk midfield received a complete overhaul, as five new starters will step on the field. Freshmen Nate Redmond (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg), Thomas Alvarez (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg), and Jermaine Hardy Jr. (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder) look to control the middle of the park, while sophomore Zach Robertson (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) and freshman Eric Madrid (Germantown, Md./Northwest) are getting the initial looks on the flanks. Sophomore transfer Christian Garcia (Los Angeles, Ca./William Taft) joined the team late in preseason but will play a major role in the midfield or in the back. Newcomers, Alex Udy (Boonsboro, Md./Boonsboro), Bryce Miracle (Chambersburg, Md./Chambersburg), Hashir Kahn (Leesburg, Va./Heritage), and Martin Alvarez (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) are all poised to earn minutes in the HCC midfield as well. “This is by far our most talented midfield,” stated Eichelberger. “Thomas has some of the best vision we’ve seen, while Jermaine is technically gifted and Nate has the composure to get the job done. By combining all that talent in the middle of the field, we are confident we can dictate play in many games.”

Leading the attack will be freshman captain Ernesto Mejia (Damascus, Md./Damascus) and classmate Alejandro C. Oliart (Germantown, Md./Northwest). Freshmen Geordy Nyam (Gaithersburg, Md./Watkins Mills), Ever Henriquez (Leesburg, Va./Hertiage), and Tareeq Bello (Hagerstown, Md./South Hagerstown) will all be asked to contribute up front for Hagerstown as well. “Our offense is extremely versatile and dangerous,” mentioned Eichelberger. “Ernesto brings a knack for scoring goals, while Alejandro has the 1v1 abilities to take on any defender.  Geordy is one of the fastest players we’ve ever seen, while Ever and Tareeq can make the most of any opportunity they get.”

While finding successful chemistry with a young team, the Hawks face a tough schedule, both in and out of the conference. "The key for us is making sure we come out of the gate fast," said Eichelberger. "The MDJUCO is one of the toughest leagues in the nation, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

"We are most looking forward to this fresh start," Eichelberger added. "We're trying to put the past behind us, learn from it, not dwell on it, and move forward".