HCC Blanks Catonsville in Region XX Playoffs
Hagerstown, Md.- The Hagerstown Community College men's soccer team came into the match garnering the No. 3 seed in the Region XX, Division I Playoffs and handily beat Catonsville, 3-0.
Looking for the program's first playoff win in over 10 years, the Hawks got help in the 9th minute when freshman Thomas Alvarez (Germantown, Md./Clarksburg) drove a low ball into the box and saw his cross richotte off a Cardinal defender and into the goal.
Catonsville would rally and look for the tying goal in the 14th minute, after a long throw in, a Cardinal player headed the ball towards the upper corner of the goal, but sophomore Cristian Mejia (Germantown, Md./Quince Orchard) came up with a diving save. Just seven minutes later, the Cardinals looked to surely get on the board but sophomore Jake Ernst (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) jumped in front of the ball that was shot towards the goal. He rose up and headed the ball over the crossbar to keep Catonsville scoreless.
In the 30th minute, the Hawks were awarded a corner kick and freshman Jermaine Hardy, Jr. (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder) sent the ball into the box where teammate Nate Redmond (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg) flicked the ball into the corner of the goal. With his 13th assist, Hardy set the HCC Men's Soccer Single Season record for most assists.
In the second half, Catonsville saw an opportunity go just wide right of the goal after a Catonsville forward was left alone eight yards from the goal. The Cardinals would out shoot the Hawks in the second period,11-7. Hagerstown would tally a third goal in the 72nd minute when Alvarez chipped a ball over the backline where freshman Alejandro Oliart (Germantown, Md./Northwest) ran onto it. As the keeper charged forward, he would misjudge the ball and Oliart would finish the empty net opportunity for his 18th goal of the season.
Mejia finished the game with nine saves and now ranks first in saves in MDJUCO. With the win, Mejia recorded his first shutout of the season.
HCC will now face No. 2 seed, Harford (9-5-2, 8-3-1) on Wednesday, October 28, while No. 1 CCBC-Essex (13-5-0, 11-1-0) plays No. 4 seed College of Southern Maryland (7-8-0, 6-6-0). Both semi-final matches will be played on the home soil of the higher seed.
The Division I Region XX Championship is scheduled for Saturday, October 31 at the home of the higher remaining seed.