WYE MILLS – There have been plenty of games in recent years where the Skipjacks' opponent could rely on its greater depth, quickness and polish to register a men's soccer victory. In an enjoyable role reversal, Chesapeake College was able to parlay those strengths into a 4-1 win Thursday afternoon over visiting Allegany College of Maryland in the season opener for both teams.
Freshman forward Ramon Munoz provided a lot of the speed and a pair of goals as he came off the bench to spark the Skipjacks' offense. Brian Mejia (goal, two assists) also played a pivotal offensive role, figuring in all three second-half goals as the Skipjacks pulled away from a 1-1 halftime stalemate.
"I'm not the best player, but I try to work hard all of the time," said Munoz, who didn't play high school soccer at Old Mill High in Anne Arundel County but said he's played sports all of his life. "We've got great athletes and a good group of people on this team."
Munoz scored Chesapeake's first-half goal seven minutes before halftime, but Allegany seemed to capture the momentum on Matthew Simpson's equalizer just four minutes later. Chesapeake, however, came out and dominated the first five minutes of the second half to regain control.
"I got on them at halftime," said Kennet Fosuhene, Chesapeake's first-year head coach. "I didn't think we were living up to our potential. We made a few technical adjustments, scored early, and got some momentum."
Allegany goalie Austin Crotts turned aside two Mejia shots in the opener minutes of the second half, but he didn't stop Mejia's next shot. Phillip Whitby (goal, assist) sent a cross from the left wing to the middle of the box and Mejia headed it past Crotts 3:35 into the second half to give Chesapeake a 2-1 lead.
"That goal was thanks to Phil," Mejia said of Whitby's cross. "That assist was awesome."
Mejia nearly gave Chesapeake a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes remaining only to hit his shot off the right post. Just over a minute later, however, he fed Munoz for his second goal of the game to give the Skipjacks a two-goal cushion.
Chesapeake broke the game open with just over 10 minutes remaining when Mejia dumped the ball over the last Trojan defender to Whitby, who pushed the ball past Crotts and inside the right post to make it 4-1.
"In the second half, we just got tired," said Allegany head coach Rick Zimmerman, who had half as many substitutes available as Chesapeake's 20-player roster provided.
Zimmerman indicated his squad needed to do more with their scoring opportunities.
"We had some real nice combinations, but we just have to work on finishing," said Zimmerman.
The first-game victory was especially impressive given that Fosuhene – hired as head coach over the summer – has pulled players from all five of the college's support counties as well as Anne Arundel County, Delaware, Georgia and Honduras.
"This group has a lot of potential. They're striving for greatness," said the 21-year-old Fosuhene, who was born in London and moved with his family to Georgia five years ago.
"This is a great start, and a great victory," said Fosuhene, whose squad next plays at Montgomery College (1-1-1 overall, 1-0 league) September 13th. "Still, it's just one game."
Notes: Chesapeake's four-goal outburst was double the Skipjacks' goal total for the entire 2015 season. . . . The Skipjacks won twice last year – on the field with a 1-0 win over Cecil and off the field with a forfeit victory over Montgomery College. . . Chesapeake has now played Allegany in two straight games over two seasons, having closed out the 2015 campaign with a 3-1 loss at Allegany.