Isaiah Price scored off of a free kick with 3:32 remaining to lift the CCBC Essex men’s soccer team to a 2-1 win over visiting Montgomery College on Tuesday.
The game was a rematch of last season’s NJCAA Region XX championship game, also won by Essex.
The Raptors entered the game ranked 14th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I. Essex, which opened the season with a 7-0 loss to fifth-ranked East Florida State, is unranked.
The Knights (3-1) have won three straight since that loss.
The winning goal came on a misdirection play. Two Knights feinted making the direct kick, with the Montgomery College defense shifting as each Essex player approached the ball.
Price then arched the ball over the defense and into the far top corner, just beyond Montgomery keeper Yvan Moundou.
Price has scored five goals in the Knights’ last three games.
The Raptors had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Essex goalkeeper Jack Roby saved one shot and made sure a pass to the far post was cleared.
Roby also made a good save in the final seconds of the first half, stopping a point-blank shot on a breakaway to preserve a 1-0 Essex lead.
He finished with five saves.
Essex took a quick lead just 13 minutes into the game as Seth Onolaja sent a deep drive to the front left of the Raptor goal, where Kota Tsuchizawa knocked it into the net.
Montgomery College tied the game 17 minutes into the second half.
The Knights’ defense played well in holding off a Raptor attack that outshot Essex 18-11 and had a 6-0 edge in corner kicks.
Each team was whistled for 11 fouls and issued two yellow cards in the rough, physical game.
Essex defeated host Anne Arundel 6-0 on Friday. Rezon Ahmeti scored two goals, while Isaiah Price, Wilfred Tinay, Daigo Adachi and Sam Adunah scored one goal each.
The Knights’ next home game is Sept. 12 against Cecil College. Game time is 7 p.m. Essex was in the “also receiving votes” section of the NJCAA rankings this week.