Final Score: Riverhawks 13, Harford Community College Fighting Owls 16
Updated Records: AACC 12-4 overall, 8-1 conference. HCC 10-3 overall, 7-1 conference
Location: Harford Community College Sports Complex – Bel Air, MD
Box Score: Found here
The NJCAA Region 20 Championship game hosted at Harford Community College this past Wednesday night (5/2) showcased two top teams looking to punch their ticket to the National Tournament. The Riverhawks faced off against The Fighting Owls for the title, and despite early and late surges, fell 16-13.
The highly ranked match-up has happened twice this season, with the Fighting Owls winning the first contest, 19-18, in the memorable last-second goal victory, as the Riverhawks responded forcefully a few weeks later, winning 17-10.
With the Region 20 Championship game set as the unofficial tiebreaker for the two teams, it was the Riverhawks who made their statement early. With Alyssa Baronella-O'Toole (Severn, MD/Old Mill) picking up the first draw control, Madeline Szanyi (Mayo, MD/South River) would score off a pass from Sofia Michael (Crofton, MD/Arundel) to get AACC the 1-0 lead just thirty seconds in.
The Riverhawks would continue to push their offensive drive and get themselves to a 5-1 lead over the Fighting Owls, but with Nationals in site, Harford refused to give-up. Capitalizing on Riverhawk mistakes and turn overs, the Fighting Owls would go on a 7-0 scoring bout to take the lead, 8-5, as the first half expired.
Staying with the momentum they finished the first half with, the Fighting Owls continued to extend their lead – scoring five more taking a 13-5 lead. Finally getting them out of the drought, the combination of Michael to Szanyi would end the Harford scoring run. AACC would look to gain back some control over the next ten minutes of play with O'Toole and Angelina Horan (Lothian, MD/Calverton) pushing their speed to find the back of the net for multiple Riverhawk goals.
Although, the trio of O'Toole, Horan, and Szanyi would end the game with the four straight goals for the Riverhawks, time played a factor as the Fighting Owls held onto their lead – winning in the end, 16-13.
With the win, the Fighting Owls have guaranteed their spot in the semi-finals of the 2018 NJCAA National Championship scheduled for May 11th, hosted by Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY.
The Riverhawk season is not over, and the team will have a chance to earn a trip to the big show as they are set to host Suffolk Community College this Saturday (5/5) for the District B Championship title and the final national tournament spot on the line. Game is scheduled for 12 pm at Siegert Stadium of the Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD.
Remember to get the latest updates and announcements, as well as receiving all access to live stats and live videos by following AACC Athletics (@aaccathletics) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!