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Women's Soccer: Knights Win First Region XX Div. I Title in 7 Years

Photo by Dean Tornatore
Photo by Dean Tornatore

Bel Air, Md. -- The Knights finished 7-9-1 last year in its first season under head coach Joe Fiedler. One of his priorities was to play tougher competition; his motto: to be the best, one must play the best.

On Saturday, the Knights took another step forward, winning their 18th consecutive game this season and capturing the programs first NJCAA Region XX Division I title in seven years - ninth overall - after defeating Frederick 5-0 at host Harford Community College. 

CCBC Essex will now host the NJCAA Northeast District Championship, which begins Friday. 

Earlier this season, The Knights (18-1) also captured their first Maryland Juco Conference title since 2002. 

Dani Zacierka (Sparrows Point) scored the game's first goal in the 8th minute of play. 

CCBC Essex increased its lead in the 22nd minute, when the NJCAA Division I leading goal scorer Kara Dietrich (Perry Hall) notched her 49th goal of the season.

Those two goals were part of a 15-shot barrage the Knights put on the Cougars in the first half. 

Goalie Sam Tornatore (Eastern Tech) kept momentum on the Knights side late in the first half when she made a high-point save to preserve the 2-0 lead into halftime. 

Tornatore finished the game with five saves. She has started all 19 games for the Knights this season.

After the break, the Knights were looking to put the game away. 

Fiedler mentioned to his team during halftime that the next goal would decide the game. 

It took 18 minutes, but the Knights would answer the challenge. 

Taylor West (North Point) took a volley from Natalie Berkey (John Carroll) and put the Knights up by three in the 63rd minute.

Less than three minutes later, West returned the favor and played a ball to Zacierka for her second goal of the match.

In the 68th minute, Zacierka capped the Knights scoring with her hat trick and 12th goal of the season. 

The Knights continued to pressure Frederick (12-4-1) goalie Mahala Sawyers, finishing with 35 shots and 23 on goal. 

On the season, the Knights are averaging nearly 24 shots per game and six goals per contest. 

CCBC Essex will look to extend its winning streak on Friday in an NJCAA Northeast District semifinal match against Sussex County. 

The game will be played at CCBC Catonsville and kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m., followed by Monroe College vs. Frederick.

The winner of the district championship receives an automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship tournament in Melbourne, Florida.

*Follow us on Twitter @Knights_WSoccer and @CCBCEssexSports.

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