ARNOLD, MD – The Anne Arundel Community College Riverhawk soccer programs will officially open their 2018-19 season on Sunday (8/26), hosting a double header against Harcum College. The NJCAA DI Region XIX Bears will be traveling from Bryn Mawr, PA to face the Riverhawks with the women's game starting at noon, and the men following at 2:00 pm.
"It's good to open with a home game." Said Karin Victorio, Riverhawk Head Women's Soccer Coach. "Last year this game was a competitive, close, one-goal game; should be good again this year. We'll be missing one of our starters due to a carried over red card, so we're working on adjusting for that."
The women of Harcum will enter Sunday 1-0 on the season, defeating the Roadrunners of Rowan College at Gloucester County, 1-0, this past Thursday (8/23).
The Riverhawk women's soccer team finished 9-5-1 last season, with their final loss in the 2017 NJCAA DIII Region XX Tournament Championship game against the Raptors of Montgomery College.
"We have a solid group of returners." Coach Victorio adds. "Our four leading points scorers are in the starting line-up (Maddie, Gabbie, Lina, and Ashley), as Mel and Jenna lead the defense with shear athleticism."
Returning Riverhawks in full this year are Madeline Stevenson, Ashley Sherwin, Gabriell Keogh, Reyna Bocanegra, Angelina Horan, Melissa Stagnitta, and Randal Graham.
With numbers coming in Coach Victorio also comments on some rising freshman this year.
"Our two strongest freshman are Alessandra Gargano and Hannah "Hop" Hopkins. They have good knowledge of the game and positive attitudes. Hannah Lieb, our new keeper, is a diamond in the rough. She is fast, athletic, and quickly picking up her game."
Looking at the season in full Coach Victorio hopes to continue to build team fitness and chemistry with hopes to peak in time to win Regionals and make it to Nationals.
"We need to focus on coming together, we have people at various skill levels and soccer backgrounds. Getting the most out of each of those various levels of players and working together as a team."
Be sure to check out the 2018-19 Riverhawk women's soccer roster here.
The men of Harcum are on a two game winning streak entering Sunday's match-up defeating fellow MD JUCO & Region XX opponents, the Fighting Owls of Harford Community College, 3-2, and the Roadrunners of Rowan College at Gloucester County, 2-1, in overtime.
"Harcum will be a tough physical test for us." Said Nick Cosentino, Riverhawk Head Men's Soccer Coach. "We have had a good preseason and we feel prepared."
The Riverhawks finished 7-8-1 on the 2017-18 season with an unexpected early finish, falling to the Raptors of Montgomery College, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 NJCAA DIII Region XX Tournament. Returning, and looking for redemption, are sophomores Derrick Alleyne, Noah Beall, Ryan Owens, Brendan Quinn, and goalkeeper Austin Noland. Familiar names from the Riverhawk 2016-17 roster, Mayglin Estrada and Francisco Vidales Macias are also back this season.
"We have a solid group of freshman who will have to adapt to the speed of play and physicality of college." Coach Cosentino states. "We have good leadership from our returning players. Guys like Ryan Owens, Noah, and Mayglin have been through the grind of a JUCO season, which will help out our younger players."
"Abdellah and Peter Roberts will both make a significant impact this season and are both fun to watch." Commenting on some of the new additions this year, Coach Cosentino adds. "Defensively, Cole Switzer and Will Belcher will really help us."
Taking a broader look at the season, "We have a lot of potential this year. Leadership and gelling together will be important to our success." Cosentino wraps up. "If we can commit to defense, I like our chances to contend for the Region."
Be sure to check out the 2018-19 Riverhawk men's soccer roster here.
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