2008: USASA Region 1 - US Open Cup, Quarterfinals
Aegean Hawks FC - 3 vs. Baltimore Colts FC (MD) - 2
(Gaithersburg, MD - 2 PM - Bretton Woods Country Club)
With a hard-fought win in New Jersey just a week prior, the Hawks Region I Open Cup campaign continued in the form of a Region I Open Cup Quarterfinal home match vs. Maryland champions, Baltimore Colts FC. Baltimore came in to the match in form, having swept all five of Maryland's Cup competitions. The much anticipated first-time match up between two of Region I's best did not disappoint the few fans who made their way to Bretton Woods Country Club on a beautiful afternoon for soccer.
In a thrilling meeting between these two mid-Atlantic amateur soccer powerhouses, the Aegean Hawks prevailed 3-2 in a match that will be remembered for strong changes in momentum and a wild, wild finish.
The Hawks came out of the gates strong and struck first in the 12th minute off a set piece. A ball from 35 yards out was played into the Colts box and striker Carlos Garcia was able to head the ball onto the path of outside halfback Justin Bodiya, whose booming left-footed volley from penalty spot left the Colts keeper with no chance and a 1-0 margin. The Hawks found themselves up 2-0 in the 30th off the individual effort of striker Anders Kelto, who penetrated on the right edge of the box and placed a shot low and hard past the Colts netminder. Halftime score 2-0 Hawks - the worst lead in sports.
The Colts stormed back in the first 25 minutes of the second half, taking the game to the tiring Hawks with direct play and showing their championship pedigree. The MD side's first goal of the match came in 52nd off nice penetration on the left hand side of the pitch, when a ball was played into the box on the ground for a easily placed finish from 10 yards. The Colts scored again off the counter in the 65th, again on the left side, with a similar finish to level the match. The Colts kept pressuring hard, and a dangerous scamble in the Hawks box in the 70th was smashed low and hard, but cleared off the line by Hawks midfielder Justin Bodiya.
With the game tied 2-2, the Hawks form returned and several opportunities for regaining the lead ensued. In the 75th minute, outside midfielder Alan Golden struck a beauty from 30 yards that was destined for the upper ninety, but the Colts keeper was up to the save and parried the ball away off a diving stretch for a corner kick. A rare run forward from Hawks center back Andy Zayas in the 80th found him played in with a ball over the top of the Colts defense and towards the on-rushing keeper. A well-placed chip would have regained the Hawks lead, but the gifted final strike was not in the cards.
The game remained tied as the seconds of regulation were ticking away, and the Hawks were able to muster their best combination play of the game in the 92nd minute. A riveting sequence of four one-touch passes culminated with striker Anders Kelto going to goal, only to to be taken down in the penalty area. The resulting PK was tucked away nicely by Carlos Garcia for what was sure to be the game-winner.
However, only a minute later - controversy ensued. Chasing a probing long ball, Hawks center back Nick McMorris was tripped from behind and sent to the turf, leaving a Colts striker streaking into the penalty area. The ref's whistle was kept in his pocket with an interpretation of incidental contact. The resultant penetration into the Hawks box, and subsequent earned PK, provided the opportunity for the Colts to send the game into OT with only seconds remaining. However, Aegean keeper Nick Carlin-Voigt, had other thoughts. His save off the the well taken PK by Colts #10, Gil Costa, provided redemption from the controversial no-call and sent the Hawks into a Region I Open Cup Semifinal matchup on May 18th vs. either the New York Pancyprian Freedoms or United German Hungarians (PA).
Next up for the Hawks is an Amateur Cup Regional Quarterfinal match on May 11th in Philadelphia against the United German Hungarians of PA. The Colts are also in the Amateur Cup, and if both teams win, a second meeting between the two sides will be sure to provide as much drama as the first.