Final Score: Riverhawks 1, Howard Community College Dragons 2
Location: Howard Community College – Columbia, MD
Box Score: Found here
Media: Video here
The Riverhawks will conclude their season as NJCAA DIII Region XX Runner-Up, falling 2-1 in the championship match this past Saturday (10/27) against the Dragons of Howard Community College. Hosting this year's tournament, the Dragons won the title at home in Columbia, MD. The Riverhawks were the #1 seed of the tournament, the Dragons the #2 seed.
The wet conditions would push the game to Howard's turf field, adjacent to the main grass field where each team had defeated their semi-final match-ups (NOVA and PGCC). With the championship as well as a trip to Nationals on the line, each team were relentless in their aggressive attack on offense.
Trading shots with each keeper making saves, the match would remain scoreless for the majority of the first half before an instense 15 minute span would ultimately determine the final. Riverhawk goalkeeper Austin Noland (Glen Burnie, MD/Glen Burnie) would tally three saves during the scoreless 31 minute stint, but the Dragons would deliver the first point of the game as a shot just out of reach for a diving 6'2" Noland would find the back corner of the net.
As the heated competition continued, Noah Beall (Odenton, MD/Annapolis Area Christian School) would tally the equalizer goal of the match just a few short minutes later with his successful penalty shot at the 36thminute. Noland would record another save but an unfortunate tie-up inside the box would allow the Dragons a penalty shot of their own.
Successful in their attempt, the Dragons would reclaim the lead (2-1) and hold that lead as the time of the first half expired.
The Riverhawks would put-forth the hustle in their attempts to earn the title, but would fail to find the net again. With neither team posting additional points before the time expired, the Dragons would claim the 2018 DIII Region XX Championship, 2-1 over the Riverhawks.
For their tournament performances, Peter Roberts (Pasadena, MD/Archbishop Spalding), Mayglin Estrada (Glen Burnie, MD/Glen Burnie), and William Belcher (Denver, CO/Chesapeake) would earn All-Tournament Team honors.
The loss would conclude the 2018-19 season for the Riverhawks, but with some great soccer played during the season, post-season accolades for the region and conference are expected.
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