Hagerstown Earns Win Over Division I Opponent College of Southern Maryland
La Plata, Md.- With playoff seedings on the line, the Hagerstown Community College men's soccer team took down College of Southern Maryland 3-2 in MDJUCO Division I action.
With the winner of the match garnering the #3 seed in the upcoming Region XX tournament, both teams played the match with high intensity. CSM would net the first goal just two minutes into the game when a Southern Maryland player crossed the ball to the back post where his teammate volleyed the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Cristian Mejia (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard).
Hagerstown would wake up after surrendering the early goal and would control much of the possession. In the 20th minute freshman Jermaine Hardy, Jr. (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder) would riffle a shot that forced the CSM goalkeeper to make an upper 90 save. On the ensuing corner kick freshman Diego Claros (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) took low, hard shot that was destined for the corner of the goal, but again the netminder came up with a diving save.
HCC continued to pile on the pressure and earned a penalty kick for a hand ball in the box. Freshman Thomas Alvarez (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) would step up and bury the spot kick to even the match. In the 34th minute, Hagerstown would take the lead when sophomore Zach Robertson (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) crossed the ball from the right side and freshman Ernesto Mejia (Damascus, Md./Damascus) flicked the ball to Hardy. After taking a control touch, Hardy struck the ball off the crossbar and into the goal for his 11th tally of the season.
College of Southern Maryland would throw players forward in the remaining minutes of the first half and all but tie the game in the final seconds, but a shot would ricochet off the crossbar and be saved by Mejia.
Just three minutes into the second half, HCC would net the eventual game winner when Hardy would lay the ball to Alvarez who picked out freshman Alejandro C. Oliart (Germantown, Md./Northwest) in the goal box. Oliart would poke the ball past the CSM goalkeeper for his team leading 17th goal of the season and now leads MDJUCO Division I in scoring.
College of Southern Maryland would pull a goal back in the 54th minute when an apparent hand ball on an HCC defender would be called for a penalty kick. Mejia would guess correctly but the shot would just miss his hands. CSM pressured the Hagerstown back line and would look for the game tying goal but Mejia would come up with four crucial saves down the stretch, on his way to 14 overall saves in the match.
With the win, Hagerstown earned the #3 seed and will now host #6 Catonsville on Saturday at 2:00pm.