Es­sex men end los­ing streak in the Knights Soc­cer Clas­sic

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com

It had been three years since the CCBC Es­sex men’s soc­cer team won a game in its season open­ing Knights Soc­cer Clas­sic, a streak the Knights ended with a 3-2 win over Louis­burg Col­lege on Satur­day.

But Es­sex coach Joe Fiedler wasn’t com­pletely sat­is­fied; not after the Knights couldn’t hold a 2-1 half­time lead over Har­cum Col­lege in Sun­day’s game and lost 3-2.

“We didn’t play well in the sec­ond half,” Fiedler said. “We had two or three op­por­tu­ni­ties to score, and didn’t bury them.”

Es­sex took a 1-0 lead with 14:25 into the game on a goal by Cle­ment Blamo (Dun­dalk) off an as­sist from Varmah Siryon (Dun­dalk).

The Bears tied the score with about five min­utes re­main­ing be­fore half­time, but Trent Hofmeis­ter (Fall­ston) scored in the open­ing

min­utes of the sec­ond half to re­gain the lead for Es­sex.

Har­cum tied the score with about 18 min­utes re­main­ing, and scored the game-win­ner on a coun­ter­at­tack with less than a minute left to play.

As men­tioned, the Knights had a few chances to ex­tend their lead dur­ing the sec- ond half, but were de­nied by some div­ing saves from Bears goal­keeper An­drej Vi­dali.

“We have a bunch of fresh­men [16] on the roster, and the tran­si­tion to ju­nior col­lege is re­ally tough,” Fiedler said. “The speed of play is faster, the think­ing is faster, ev­ery­thing is faster, and they’re hav­ing a dif­fi­cult time ad­just­ing.”

Two of the shots that were saved were made by Es­sex fresh­men, and would likely have been goals in high school.

Against Louis­burg, the Knights took a 3-0 half­time lead on two goals by Siryon and a goal from Blamo.

The Hur­ri­canes scored twice in the last 18 min­utes of the game, but were un­able to com­plete the rally.

“We beat a good team on Satur­day,” Fiedler said. “We schedule re­ally good teams for this tour­na­ment, be­cause you can’t get [four-year] col­leges to come out and watch your games un­less you schedule good teams.”

Es­sex, which en­tered the tour­na­ment ranked 19th in the NJCAA Divi­sion I rank­ings, has won five straight re­gional ti­tles and re­turns eight sopho­mores.

“In a nut­shell, if we can get the fresh­men to ad­just faster, we’ll be very good,” Fiedler said. If we don’t, we’ll strug­gle this year. That’s the big­gest is­sue.”

The Knights’ roster also in­cludes mid­fielder Henry Ortiz (Parkville), mid­fielder Gaige Robin­son (Perry Hall), de­fender Robert Simms (Mount Carmel), mid­fielder Lo­gan Funk (Spar­rows Point), mid­fielder Adam Wise (East­ern Tech) and goal­keeper Josh Dickey (Dun­dalk).

Robin­son, Simms and Wise are sopho­mores. Siryon and Blamo are also fresh­men.

The next home game for Es­sex (1-1) is Septem­ber 8 against Prince Ge­orge’s Community Col­lege.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

CCBC Es­sex de­fender Robert Simms (Mount Carmel) works against a Chris Camp­bell of Har­cum Col­lege at­tacker dur­ing the Knight Soc­cer Clas­sic on Sun­day.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

Gaige Robin­son of CCBC Es­sex races Har­cum Col­lege’s Dan McAlis­ter for a loose ball.

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