WYE MILLS – The Skipjacks wrote a triumphant finish to a trying season Monday afternoon, riding Devin Brummell's second-half goal and Luke Blevins' second shutout to a 1-0 men's soccer victory over visiting Cecil College.
"It's always great to finish a season with a win," said Brummell, who scored the game's only goal unassisted with 27:19 remaining in the second half. "It should give everyone who's coming back next year some confidence."
Chesapeake College (2-8 overall, 2-8 league) used the victory to snap a six-game losing streak. The win also provided a measure of reward for a Skipjack squad that never quit trying, according to first-year head coach Mike Morse.
"It was important for us to get this win," said Morse. "I think we've made a lot of progress this year by focusing on skill development and playing together. For the most part, we were pretty competitive. We were able to put together 25 or 30 minutes of good soccer most halves this season."
Blevins stopped four shots to earn his second 1-0 shutout of the year, with Chesapeake's other win of the season coming by the same score against CCBC-Catonsville.
"The defense played one of the best games they played all year," said Blevins. "They [Cecil] had some opportunities, but I had faith our defense would hold them down."
"We just wanted to work together as a team and we wanted to communicate on defense," said Chesapeake defender Lucas Nagel.
Chesapeake had the better of the first-half scoring opportunities, with the best coming as D.J. Cicotte drove through the middle 11 minutes before halftime only to have Cecil goalie Dan Hanzelka come off the line to smother the ball. Brummell also had a scoring chance in the waning minutes of the first half after racing down the left wing on a pass from Cicotte, but Hanzelka stopped Brummell's hard, rising shot 7:45 before the break.
The Skipjacks were able to play with the wind in the second half, but Cecil actually had the better of the offensive opportunities to start the second half. That all ended when Brummell collected a loose ball on the right side of the goal and banged it past Hanzelka for his team-leading third goal of the season to give Chesapeake a 1-0 cushion.
That might have seemed like a secure lead, given the winless Seahawks (0-16, 0-11) have only scored three goals all season. Cecil, however, began to move midfielders and defenders forward in the waning minutes of the contest looking for the tying goal. That strategy earned the Seahawks a couple of corners along with several free kicks after Chesapeake penalties, but the Skipjack defense held.
While lauding his team's defensive effort in general, Morse offered special praise for defender Dan MacFarland's shadowing of Cecil standout Alio Oluwarotimi.
"One of the keys was shutting down 20 [Oluwarotimi]," said Morse. "They tried to run all of their offense through him. After about 10 minutes, I had Dan shadow him and Dan did a great job."