Harford Community College women's soccer team won a district… (send in photo, Patuxent…)
On a cold November afternoon in Churchville, Harford Community College's women's soccer team had one thing on its mind; a trip to the Sunshine State.
With their victory in Saturday's 2011 District Championship Game, the Fighting Owls, playing on their own turf, will be heading to Florida to fight for a National Championship after dispatching Spartanburg Methodist, 6-1.
"We are really excited," sophomore midfielder Kristina Rivera said. "This is what we have been working for all season long. We wanted it more than anything, and I think it showed today with the way that we played."
Battling flu-like symptoms, Rivera fought through the pain and put Harford on the board first in the games 17th minute. Classmate Amanda Ballard sent a cross into the box, which Rivera immediately put home for the 1-0 advantage.
Just 76 seconds later, Ballard went streaking on a breakaway, and after a juke in the box, fired a shot past the Pioneer keeper for a 2-0 advantage. A shell-shocked Spartanburg Methodist team could not regroup, and after a foul in the box, HCC's Andrea Siedlarczyk connected on a penalty kick for a 3-0 advantage at the half.
Ballard added another goal to finish with two markers and one assist, while Rivera added a goal and a helper. Amanda Zamora and Lorianne Hill also scored, as Rachel Keeley netted an assist in the win.
The Harford defense was stingy, not allowing too many balls on their half of the field. Audrey Baldwin made four saves to earn her 29th victory in goal.
The Fighting Owls and head coach Jason Muffoletto head to the 2011 NJCAA National Tournament for the third time in the past six seasons. Competition begins on Nov. 16 in Melbourne, Fla.