No. 5 Howard Comes From Behind to Upset No. 4 CCBC Essex in Fiery Ranked Matchup


Will Stumme

HCC men’s lacrosse freshman Face-off No. 3 Erik Harrell

Ozair Hussain

On Monday, Apr. 3 Howard Community College’s men’s lacrosse team upset #4 CCBC Essex in a 12-11 come-from-behind victory.

Freshman Face-off specialist Erik Harrell scored what proved to be the game-winning goal off an assist from freshman Defender John Pavlick with 51 seconds left in the game.

Regarding his and his coaching staff’s game plan entering the matchup, head coach Erik Foust said, “as a staff we decided to focus on taking advantage of some things we saw in the scout films. However, our main focus is/was just better and improving as a team.”

The Dragons started the game with intense defense, holding the Knights scoreless in the first quarter and to only 6 shots. It was not until 12:29 in the second quarter that the Knights were able to get on the scoreboard on a goal by sophomore Midfield Conner Covey assisted by freshman Midfield/Attack Cal Watson.

Coach Foust thought his team made good decisions with their matchups and who they chose to slide to and who they could avoid giving help. This was evident by the Dragons forcing a total of 25 turnovers and 34 ground balls.

Although Watson entered the game with 8 goals and finishing with 3 goals on 7 shots, Foust said, “Cal Watson is a good player but we didn’t specifically plan or scheme for him as an individual.” Aside from Watson, Covey was the only other Knight to score more than one goal as he finished the game with 3 goals. Excluding those two players, the Knights scored 5 goals on 17 shots on goal.

Despite playing phenomenally on the defensive side of the ball, the Dragons uncharacteristically struggled on offense scoring just 12 goals which is below their season average of 16.29.

When asked about how his team has scored 114 goals through 7 games yet only scored 12 in the win, Foust praised the performances of freshman Goalie Luca Mercaldo and sophomore Goalie Logan Covey saying, “the pair of Essex goalies were the two strongest keepers we’ve seen this season.” Mercaldo finished the game with the loss giving up 7 goals and 7 saves while Covey finished with 5 goals and 7 saves. However, Foust also believed his team “[failed] to capitalize on a few opportunities where they made outstanding saves.”

So far this season, the Dragons have struggled keeping the ball out of their own goal as they have given up 79 goals entering the game. However, freshman Goalie Charlie Wendel enjoyed a terrific game allowing only 11 goals on 42 shots while making 14 saves. When asked if he thinks Wendel’s performance can be built upon, coach Foust said, “definitely…Charlie had his best day of the spring.”

As some might expect during a top 5 matchup, there was a plethora of extracurricular activity occurring both during the game, which resulted in an official stopping play and warning both benches, and post game as well. When asked for his thoughts and opinions on what transpired, coach Foust said he had “no comment.”

With the come-from-behind victory, the Dragons are now 5-2, 2-0 in the conference and are set to host the #2 ranked, 5-0 Harford Fighting Owls in their final home game of the season Wednesday, Apr. 12 in Columbia, MD.