–Article by Isaac Donsky of CCBC Essex-
CCBC Essex Knights men’s soccer improved to 4-0 in Region 20 Division II play on Saturday after taken down the rival CCBC Catonsville 7-0 at Joseph P. Murray Stadium.
Essex is now 5-0 against the Cardinals over the last three seasons.
In a rematch of last season’s NJCAA Division II Region 20 Championship, the Knights (7-1) scored five goals in the final 15 minutes.
Catonsville (5-3-1) kept the game close through the first 75 minutes, trailing only 2-0 at the half thanks to a strong defensive effort.
The Knights (7-1) struck first in the 15th minute when freshman midfielder Kazuma Ishizuka slipped past two Cardinal defenders and fired a deep shot that sailed into the net.
Down 1-0, the Cardinals had a chance to equalize immediately in the 17th minute, but freshman midfielder Williams Yami’s shot bounced off the crossbar.
Catonsville got another chance in the 24th minute when awarded a penalty kick.
Cardinals freshman forward Christian Angel’s shot was stopped by a diving save from Knights sophomore goalkeeper Brendan LeMaster.
LeMaster finished the game with three saves, on the way to his fifth shutout of the season.
The Cardinals would continue to aggressively attack throughout the first half, with several opportunities to score emerging in the 35th and 36th minutes.
In both cases, it was Yami taking the shots, but LeMaster denied him both times.
The score remained 1-0 entering the half, as both teams had performed admirably on defense.
This defensive play continued at the start of the second half, with neither team adding any goals until the 61st minute.
Essex sophomore forward Sam Diaz sent a pass from freshman forward Michael Adekanmbi off the crossbar into the back of the goal, increasing the Knights lead to 2-0.
The game remained close until about 15 minutes remaining in regulation when Essex exploded for five goals in rapid succession.
Ishizuka added his second goal of the game off a deflection by the Cardinals in the 74th minute, then fired a pass that freshman forward Henry Ortiz buried in the back of the net one-minute later to make it 4-0.
Catonsville would attempt to respond in the 79th minute when sophomore forward Mike Vasquez broke loose from his defender, but his shot sailed over the net.
The Knights added three more goals in the final five minutes, with Adekanmbi, sophomore midfielder Toyosi Osemobor and freshman forward Noe Kabre (Perry Hall High School) each scoring to make the final tally 7-0.
Next up for the Knights is another road match, tomorrow against College of Southern Maryland. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.