Howard inflates its record as Hawks fall flat

September 21, 2011|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent
  • HCC's Dan Lennox, left and Howard's Yunior Blanco battle to gain control of a head ball on Wednesday during the first half of the Hawks' 3-1 loss.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The weather was better than the fortunes of the Hagerstown Community College men’s soccer team on Wednesday afternoon.

The Hawks had problems changing those fortunes as Howard Community College took control for 3-1 victory in a Maryland JuCo Conference match.

“Basically, we came out flat and we had no intensity,” Hagerstown coach Brian Eichelberger said. “I thought that was the key to the game. Against a team like this, you have to play intense. They were much quicker and we were too slow to the ball. I know we have great talent. It is still early in the season. We just had an off day today. We have got the players.”

Howard (5-4, 3-3) made effective use of its defense to keep HCC (2-3, 2-3) from establishing an offense.

“We had a strategy to protect as much as possible around the goal,” Howard coach Stefan Draganov said. “It looked like the strategy worked out.”

Howard got on the scoreboard in the 20th minute when David Neuberth scored on an unassisted goal from the right side.

Just seven minutes later, Howard extended moved to a 2-0 lead when Blaise Sindjui scored an unassisted goal from the right side.

HCC cut the deficit in half in the 35th minute when midfielder Zack Morgan scored from the left side on an assist from defender Josh Fahlfeder, making it 2-1 at the half.

Howard closed the scoring in the 60th minute when Neuberth notched an unassisted goal through the middle for his second score of the match.

“David Neuberth and Blaise Sindjui are our two main scorers,” Draganov said. “We try to get the ball to them as much as possible. They know what to do with the ball when they get it.”

Howard goalkeeper Justin Jones had 17 saves, while the Hawks’ Chip Rittenhouse collected 13.

The Dragons outshot the Hawks, 32-23.

“We had a slow start,” Draganov said. “But in the last few games, we have picked it up. We are looking forward to finishing the rest of the season strong.”

Draganov was impressed with HCC.

“They deserve credit,” Draganov said. “They fought the entire game to try to get the goals. I always respect Hagerstown’s program.”

The loss snapped the Hawks’ two-game winning streak.

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