Baltimore County, Md. -- The Knights defeated Rowan College at Burlington County 5-0 yesterday at home to win their fourth consecutive game of the season. Freshman Kara Dietrich (Perry Hall) led the way with four goals scored.
Freshman Ashlyn Hales (Eastern Tech) netted the game's first goal in the 15th minute of play to put the Knights on the board. It was Hales first collegiate tally.
"Honestly, when the ball came to me I wasn't going to hit it," Hales said. "Then I noticed the right side of the goal was open, I took the shot and it was like slow motion into the upper ninety."
Less than one minute later, Dietrich scored her first of the contest to put Essex up 2-0 just 15:29 into the match.
The Knights (4-1, 2-0 Maryland Juco Conference) dominated the game early and often, holding the Barons without a shot on goal until the 60th minute of play.
Essex out shot Rowan 19-1 in the first half and 29-5 in the game.
Knights' freshman goal keeper Sam Tornatore (Eastern Tech) faced just three shots on goal and saved them all.
Dietrich picked up her next two goals in the 21st and 36th minutes of play, respectively, to finish her hat trick in the first half.
Her final goal came in the 83rd minute. She now has eight goals this year, good enough for second most in NJCAA Region XX Division I.
"I had a couple of shots that I thought were nice that didn't go in," Dietrich said. "But I've been working on finishing and I had a lot of great assists. One came from Taylor [West] on the outside. She played it to the six and I was able to finish."
A Long Way from Game 1
CCBC Essex's women's soccer team opened its season on August 24 with a 15-0 loss to defending NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer champion and preseason No. 1 Monroe. The team was missing several starters in that season-opening match.
Since then, the Knights have won four straight and have outscored its opponents 16-4 over that span.
The Knights have returned almost all of their starting pieces and have played more consistent, cohesive soccer since its first game of the year.
"In our first game, we were not really clicking," Dietrich said. "Monroe really pushed us during that shutout, so we know we had to work harder. Since then, our back line has really stepped up, and our midfield has been connecting the ball well."
Dietrich's first goal of the season in the 22nd minute tied the game at one, which is where it stayed going into halftime.
The Bears scored first in the second half at 49:22, but their lead was short lived as Dani Zacierka (Sparrows Point) tied it at two less than three minutes later.
Zacierka scored again in the 60th minute to put the Knights ahead 3-2. But the Bears tied it in the 79th minute to force overtime.
Fachler's golden goal came on a beautiful cross from Boyle at 97:43. After much confusion surrounding whether the ball crossed the line, the Knights celebrated its first win of the season.
On September 3, CCBC Essex hit the pitch at home to open Maryland Juco and Region XX play against Montgomery.
The Knights last met the Raptors in last year's Region XX Division I Tournament semifinals where Montgomery upended Essex 5-1 to reach the finals.
CCBC Essex would not allow a repeat performance, taking the Raptors down 2-0.
Fachler and Dietrich provided the goals - in the 30th and 60th minutes, resptively - and Tornatore stopped both Montgomery shots on goal to perserve the shutout.
On September 6, Essex hit the road for the first time this season and defeated conference foe Anne Arundel 5-1 at Siegert Field.
Amaya Purnell (Perry Hall), Dietrich (2) and Boyle (2) provided the goals, as Josephine Eskey (Loch Raven) contributed an assist. Tornatore finished with one save on the only shot she face during her 56:17 of game action.
The Knights do not play again until this Friday when they host Cecil College. The Seahawks are 0-1 and will play Anne Arundel on Tuesday before traveling south to CCBC Essex.
Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.
*Patrick Coonan and Nick Guido contributed to this article.