Final Score: Riverhawks 25, Howard Community College Dragons 14
Updated Records: AACC 12-3 overall, 8-1 conference. HCC 8-5 overall, 5-4 conference
Location: Harford Community College Sports Complex – Bel Air, MD
Box Score: Found here
The Riverhawks got their first post-season win this past Monday night (4/30), defeating the Dragons of Howard Community College, 25-14, in the first semi final game of the 2018 Region 20 Tournament hosted at Harford Community College.
Entering the tournament as the No. 2 seed, the Riverhawks were set to face the Dragons who were seeded No. 4. Four teams entered for Region 20, the CCBC Essex Knights (No. 3), and Harford Community College Fighting Owls (No. 1) were set as the second semi final game.
The two teams had met previously during the season where a late scoring drive by the Dragons almost prevailed over the Riverhawks who were able to hold on for a close, 20-17, victory. Seemingly picking up right where they left off, the Dragons came firing out – scoring four unanswered goals within the first six minutes of play.
Mariah Scott (Severna Park, MD/Severna Park) would stop the Dragon rally, finishing off a pass from Sofia Michael (Crofton, MD/Arundel). Looking to shut down any momentum for AACC, Howard would answer just under a minute later, putting them back on top – 5-1. Struggling to stop some Howard fast breaks, while being stuffed by the goalkeeper, the Riverhawks would need a timeout to re-group.
Doing just that, AACC would step back out and score four unanswered goals of their own to tie the game at 5-5. Michael, Angelina Horan (Lothian, MD/Calverton) would each net one with Madeline Szanyi (Mayo, MD/South River) grabbing two in the four-score equalizing run.
With their season on the line, the Dragons of Howard were relentless in their push – posting two more on the board. With some great hustle play action, Lina Horan would take one on her own and then capitalize once again on the free position opportunity, tying the game at 7 a piece. Following up with a drive of her own, Alyssa Baronella-O'Toole (Severn, MD/Old Mill) would snipe a corner to get the Riverhawks their first lead of the game with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Howard would continue to prove they could score, but with the Riverhawks triumphing over their early start mistakes, AACC began to take control of the game. With Michael finishing, and Caitlyn Shriver (Pasadena, MD/Northeast) dominating on solo drives – AACC found their groove. Shriver would finish again, snagging an inside pass from Szanyi and thanks to a draw control win from Lina, Szanyi would quickly finish from Shriver and AACC would head into halftime intermission with a 12-10 lead.
The second half would continue in full swing momentum of the Riverhawk drive as AACC began to pull away. Revived and hustling at each play the Riverhawks would ultimately close out the semi final match-up, 25-14. Szanyi would finish with five goals three assists, Lina Horan and Sofia Michael each with five goals and two assists, AB O'Toole had five goals, Cat Shriver with four goals one assist, and Mariah Scott with one goal and one assist.
With the win, the Riverhawks will advance to the 2018 NJCAA Region 20 Championship game scheduled for 6 pm on Wednesday May 2nd. Winning their semi final match-up (CCBC Essex), the Fighting Owls of Harford Community College will be the Riverhawks' opponent for the Championship game. As host of the tournament, the Fighting Owls will have home field advantage, as the game will take place within the Harford Sports Complex of Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD.
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