By Billy Owens
BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. - CCBC Essex men's soccer team remains in search of its first win of the 2018 season as they suffered a 3-2 defeat to Frederick Community College on a warm and humid Tuesday evening at CCBC Essex Stadium.
The match started with strong defensive play from both teams, as neither squad landed a shot on goal for the first 20 minutes.
That all changed when the Knights (0-3-1) were awarded a penalty kick 22 minutes into the first half. Sophomore forward Nehemiah Crawford (Baltimore City College) took full advantage of the opportunity, nailing his second penalty kick of the season to put the Knights up 1-0.
Defensive play continued to define the remainder of the first half, but the visiting Cougars started to gain some offensive momentum heading into halftime.
They attempted seven shots in the last 25 minutes of the first half, some narrowly missing the goal by inches and others halted by the Knights' sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Cooper (Calvert Hall).
"We [were able to] put a couple shots on goal and we scored," head coach Joe Fiedler said about the first half.
Essex added a second goal to their lead less than a minute into the second half, as freshman forward Oscar Cruz-Osorio (Indian River) raced past Frederick's defenders to net his first goal of the season.
The Cougars' (1-0-0) offense continued to build upon the momentum it established at the end of the first half.
They finally broke through the Knights' defense when freshman forward Primo Fogam scored an unassisted goal in the 62nd minute to cut the lead to 2-1.
Two minutes later, Frederick equalized when freshman forward Vagner Marques-Rodriguez scored off an assist by freshman midfielder Jonatan Andrade.
With their 2-0 lead gone, the Knights fought to regain an advantage in the middle of the second half.
Their best opportunities came off four consecutive corner kicks by freshman midfielder Jonatan Gonzalez (Gar-Field Senior) in the 74th and 75th minutes, but freshman goalkeeper Emmanuel Vargas and the Cougars' defenders kept the ball out of scoring position.
Just one minute after Essex's fourth missed corner kick opportunity, Frederick regained possession and made its way deep into Essex's defensive zone.
Fogam found the back of the net for his second tally, this time off an assist by sophomore defender Cherif Dicko, to give Frederick their first lead of the match with less than 15 minutes remaining.
The Cougars held on for the 3-2 win and earned their first win of the 2018 season, while the Knights suffered their third loss of the year.
Cooper finished the night with five saves.
"We have a hard time finishing games this year," Fiedler said.
Essex will look to regroup this weekend as it hosts Anne Arundel Community College on Saturday afternoon. Play is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.