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HCC women open program with second-half win

September 09, 1999|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Only a handful of fans made the journey to Hagerstown Community College to see the first women's soccer game in school history. But those in attendance - including head coach Cathy Hammond - were not disappointed.

"It was pretty awesome," Hammond said after her newly-formed band of Hawks dominated Howard Community College 4-2 in a night of firsts at HCC. "I'm really surprised, and I'm really happy for all the girls."

Hammond and the rest of the HCC faithful watched as milestone after milestone went in the books. North Hagerstown graduate Becky Holmes had the first shot, South Hagerstown graduate Stacey Zeger made the first save, and midway through the first half, and Williamsport graduate Emily Shirk put home the first HCC goal on a loose ball in front for a 1-0 lead.

"I had trouble finding the net at first, but once I did, it was great," Shirk said of her goal, which fired up the HCC bench and the fans.

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"I was hoping that would be the case, that we would score first," Hammond said. "I told them that if we're gonna score, let's score first and go down in history."

Howard scored late in the half on an indirect kick set up for Michelle Rodgers, who just beat Zeger high.

Tied at 1-1, Hammond set a challenge for her team at halftime. "I told them I'd like them to score in the first five minutes (of the second half)."

It took seven. Christine James made a run and scored to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.

Howard picked up it's play for a few minutes, then the Hawks let loose. Chrissy Kitchen scored on a loose ball before Holmes blasted a 45-yard direct kick into the left corner for a 4-1 edge.

HCC has tried to form a women's team for the last couple of years, and Wednesday night was the culmination of all the work.

"I'm speechless. I'm just glad it's over ... that we actually completed the first game," Hammond said. "I'm excited that it's been done.

"It was well worth it (trying to get a team together)," she added.

And as for Shirk, when asked if making history was better on the winning side? "Yes, yes it is. I'm gonna remember this forever."

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