March 29, 2020
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REGION XX CHAMPIONSHIP TWO-TIME DEFENDING REGION XX CHAMPION HOWARD UP AGAINST THE TOURNAMENT’S NUMBER ONE SEED. THE HOME-STANDING HARFORD FIGHTING OWLS DRAGONS ENTER THE FINAL WITH A 10-3 OVERALL
RECORD, AND AS THE NUMBER TWO SEED IN REGION XX. ONE OF THEIR LOSSES CAME AGAINST HARFORD BACK
IN MARCH. HOWARD IS RANKED NUMBER FOUR IN THE NATION. DRAGONS HAVE BEEN RANKED IN THE TOP-FIVE ALL
SEASON, STILL LOOKING FOR A SIGNATURE WIN. FIGHTING OWLS ENTER THE GAME, NUMBER TWO IN
THE NJCAA. 12-1 RECORD. HARFORD’S ONLY BLEMISH, A WEEK ONE LOSS
TO NUMBER ONE NASSAU. SINCE THAT EARLY DISAPPOINTMENT, THE FIGHTING
OWLS HAVE WON 12 CONSECUTIVE GAMES HARFORD WINS THE OPENING FACE-OFF, AND ROLLS
OUT OF THE GATE. TYLER WAGONER DIVES IN AND DELIVERS A GOAL
FOR THE FIGHTING OWLS ON THEIR FIRST POSSESSION. AFTER A HOWARD TURNOVER, HARFORD’S BACK
ON OFFENSE. DRAGONS LEAVE CHANDLER SCHMIDT OPEN ON THE
DOORSTEP. REECE WISEMAN ON THE ASSIST. 3-NOTHING LEAD FOR THE HOME SIDE. FIGHTING OWLS, CONTROLLING POSSESSION THANKS
IN PART TO A STRONG PERFORMANCE AT THE FACE-OFF X. HARFORD ATTACKS THE UNSETTLED SITUATION. SCHMIDT’S NOT PLAYING AROUND. HE’S SCORED TWO GOALS IN THE FIRST THREE
MINUTES. DRAGONS OFFENSE HAS HARDLY TOUCHED THE BALL,
AND THEY FIND THEMSELVES DOWN FOUR. SHOT CLOCK WINDING DOWN. JACK WATSIC GETS A SHOT OFF BUT THAT’S ABOUT
IT. HOWARD, WITH ANOTHER SERIES THEY’D LIKE
TO HAVE BACK. DRAGONS OFFENSE, YET TO GET INTO A FLOW MEANWHILE, THE FIGHTING OWLS SENSE THEY HAVE
THE DRAGONS IN TROUBLE. HARFORD EXTENDS ITS LEAD TO FIVE GOALS. AFTER ANOTHER HOWARD TURNOVER, HARFORD’S
BACK AT IT. ELI DOYLE ON THE FINISH. NIGHTMARE FIRST QUARTER FOR HOWARD. SCHMIDT HITS WAGONER IN THE MIDDLE, ABLE TO
GET THE SHOT OFF AND MAKE IT 8-NOTHING HARFORD. SECOND QUARTER, NICK PEKINS TAKING IT DOWN
THE MIDDLE IN TRANSITION, GETS HIMSEF A TREMENDOUS ANGLE AND SCORES HIS FIRST GOAL OF THE SEASON. PEKINS, THE SHORT STICK D-MIDDIE, STEPPING
UP AND PROVIDING A SPARK FOR HOWARD. BUT HARFORD WON THE ENSUING FACE-OFF AND ANSWERED
RIGHT BACK. ELI DOYLE, OPEN ON THE WEAK SIDE, MAKES EM
PAY. FIGHTING OWLS GET THE DEFENSE MOVING AGAIN,
DOYLE OPEN ON THE CREASE, TIM RUSSELL DROPS DOWN FOR THE LEG SAVE. TEN FIRST HALF SAVES FOR THE DRAGONS FRESHMAN. MUCH BETTER QUARTER FOR HOWARD’S OFFENSE. JACKSON KRASNY, MAKING PLAYS, MASTERPIECE
OF AN ASSIST FROM THE FRESHMAN MIDDIE. COLVIN PROSSER STICKS IT, WINS BACK SOME MOMENTUM
FOR THE DRAGONS. THE FACE-OFF BATTLE, PLAYING A BIG ROLE. 17-4 FACE-OFF ADVANTAGE FOR HARFORD IN THE
FIRST HALF. SEVERAL DRAWS HAVE ALSO LED TO UNSETTLED OPPORTUNITIES
FOR THE FIGHTING OWLS OFFENSE. HARFORD RESPONDS WITH THREE UNANSWERED. THIRD QUARTER NOW, NINE GOAL LEAD FOR HARFORD. KRASNY GETS TO HIS SPOT, FOOLS HIS DEFENDER
WITH THE FAKE, SCORES!! DRAGONS HAVE PUT THE FIRST QUARTER BEHIND
THEM, THEY’RE PLAYING HARFORD EVEN NOW, JUST NEED TO FIND A WAY TO PUT A RUN TOGETHER. JEREMY SFORZO DODGING, TAKES IT IN AND KEEPS
MOMENTUM GOING IN HOWARD’S FAVOR. HARFORD’S LEAD IS NOW 7, EXCELLENT BALL
MOVEMENT FROM THE FIGHTING OWLS. ONCE AGAIN, THE NUMBER ONE SEED FINDS A WAY
TO RESPOND AFTER A POSITIVE STRETCH FOR HOWARD. 17 SECONDS TO PLAY IN THE THIRD QUARTER, DRAGONS
BRINGING THE INTENSITY, PROSSER AND SFORZO COMBINE TO WIN IT BACK FOR HOWARD. SFORZO DRAWS A CROWD, GOES TO BOBBY SOLOMON. GOAL FOR SOLOMON! THE DEFICIT IS NOW 6. BUT HARFORD WON THE FACE-OFF, AND WITH ONE
SECOND TO PLAY IN THE THIRD, THE FIGHTING OWLS LAND ANOTHER COUNTER PUNCH HARFORD, CONTINUES TO GENERATE OFFENSE OFF
OF THESE CLEAN FACE-OFF WINS. FOGO GETS THE DEFENSE MOVING, SCHMIDT, DOYLE,
TO OWEN CONSOLETTI. HARFORD SCORES TWO UNANSWERED DRAGONS TRAIL BY TEN GOALS WITH 5:35 REMAINING
IN THE GAME. JACK WATSIC, RUNNING DOWNHILL, FINDS A HOME
FOR HIS OVERHAND BOUNCE SHOT. OF COURSE IT DOESN’T WORK THIS WAY, BUT
YOU TAKE AWAY THAT 8-NOTHING FIRST QUARTER AND THIS IS A WHOLE NEW GAME. DRAGONS, NOT GOING AWAY. PROSSER WITH ANOTHER TAKEAWAY, PICKS IT OUT
OF THIN AIR AND SLAMS IT IN. 2 MINUTES REMAINING, DREW GOODE GOES TO WATSIC
IN THE MIDDLE, WATSIC WITH HIS BACK TO THE GOAL, INVENTIVE LOW TO HIGH FINISH. DRAGONS COMPETE UNTIL THE END, BUT THE 8-GOAL
FIRST QUARTER DEFICIT WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO OVERCOME. HARFORD WINS THE REGION XX CHAMPIONSHIP. WITH HEAD-TO-HEAD WINS OVER GENESEE, SUFFOLK,
ANNE ARUNDEL AND ESSEX, HOWARD EARNS THE LONE AT-LARGE SELECTION TO THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT. DRAGONS CONTROL THEIR OWN DESTINY, DESPITE
LOSING IN THE REGION XX FINAL.

David Frank

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