By Billy Owens
BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. - Déjà vu reared its ugly head last night for the Knights as they couldn't maintain a 2-0 second half lead for the second time in their past three home games, ultimately falling 4-2 to the Montgomery Raptors at CCBC Essex Stadium.
Essex (3-4-1, 3-2 Maryland Juco) faced a very similar situation just two weeks ago when they hosted the Frederick Cougars, as they held a 2-0 advantage with under 30 minutes to play in the second half before succumbing 3-2 on Sept. 4.
Like the Cougars, the Raptors (7-1, 4-0 Maryland Juco) had many great offensive looks on the Knights defense in the first half, but were unable to convert any until midway through the second when they needed them the most.
"I just think we got tired," head coach Joe Fiedler said. "We got a little lazy and that's that."
Both teams were locked in a defensive stalemate for the majority of the first half, as Essex and Montgomery each prevented the other from gaining any offensive traction.
The Raptors would end up blinking first as sophomore forward Nehemiah Crawford (Baltimore City College) scored off an assist by freshman midfielder Jonatan Gonzalez (Gar-Field Senior) in the 38th minute.
Freshman forward Isaiah Price (Bowie) found the back of the net 38 seconds later off an assist by freshman midfielder Jesús Hernandez-Sanchez (William Penn) to put the Knights up 2-0 at halftime.
Montgomery started the second half with a heavy-pressured offense, attempting six shots in the first 15 minutes of the period and narrowly missing the goal on the first four.
The Raptors were sixth time lucky, though, as they finally broke through with their first goal in the 69th minute to cut the Knights' lead to 2-1. Another goal in the 76th minute off an incredibly tough Raptors free kick tied the game at 2-2.
A costly Essex foul in the penalty area gave Montgomery a penalty kick attempt in the 81st minute.
Despite saving five of seven shots on goal up to that point, sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Cooper (Calvert Hall) was unable to stop the penalty kick which gave Montgomery its first lead of the game.
The Raptors later put the game out of reach with a fourth goal with under three minutes remaining to seal the 4-2 comeback victory.
"We shot the ball [in the first half]," Fiedler said. "We didn't do that in the second half."
Essex hopes to get its fourth win in five games later this week as it heads to Harford for a conference matchup Friday at 6 p.m.
Men's Soccer: Knights Lose Two-Goal Lead, Fall to Raptors 4-2
|Montgomery College (MD) (7-1-0, 4-0-0)||0||4||4|
|CCBC Essex (3-4-1, 3-2-0)||2||0||2|
By Billy Owens