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Better control is how Patuxent head coach Brett Hansen described his team’s play as his team brought home its first win of the season on Tuesday night at McDonough.

Hansen lost 11 seniors and starting goalie Corbin Jones from the 2011 roster, but his 2012 team took the 3-0 halftime lead against the Rams.

McDonough scored on a penalty kick shortly into the second half. Six minutes later, Patuxent’s Eric Chaconas’ ball bounced over the head of Rams goalie DJ Sumpter and found its way into the net, putting the Panthers up 4-1 and they won 4-2 to even up their record at 1-1, 1-1 SMAC.

“The first game [against Great Mills] was kind of rough,” Hansen said of his team’s 4-1 loss to the Hornets on Sept. 4 in the season opener. “They played with better control in this game. It’s a beginning [stage].”

Patuxent’s Jake Hayden got the scoring started when his ball hit the right side of the crossbar and bounced perfectly into the net eight minutes into play. Hayden came back with his second goal nearly five minutes later, putting his team up 2-0.

McDonough pressured on a corner kick with Clyde Tabo’s header, but it was saved by Patuxent junior goalie Michael Frawley.

“We played good, we could always work on a few things,” said Frawley, who finished with four saves. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Later in the first half, Patuxent’s Eric Elder sent a kick back over his right shoulder. It flew into the highest part of the left side of the goal to the shock of even his teammates. The Panthers took the 3-0 lead.

“I got a long ball from Eric Brauner and the ball came to me and I turned with it and just let one go,” Elder said.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Tabo, who had been hungry for a goal, scored the Rams first tally of the game on a penalty kick when Frawley predicted the opposite side of the net.

Frawley said the penalty kick was the worst possible thing a goalie could take.

“You guess, that’s all you can do,” Frawley said.

Chaconas extended the Panthers lead to 4-1 when his ball got a little height over Sumpter.

“I don’t usually have a lot of scoring opportunities, but Eric [Elder] is a great player and he allowed me to get open and get a shot on goal,” Chaconas said. “I think we just need to keep up our intensity throughout the whole game because we did come out with a win, but we do need to keep the intensity up.”

Later in the second half, McDonough’s Anthony Forest got away from Patuxent defenders Andrew Kalinowski and Daniel Rohleder and struck the back of the net for the final goal of the night.

Forest scored after taking two hard shots to his body, but kept playing with intensity and drive.

“I had missed two opportunities before by just holding the ball too long,” Forest said. “I was happy, but we needed more goals to win. We’re definitely better [than last year]. I’m just really wanting to win a game against a really tough team. We’ve already played Great Mills and Huntingtown.”

Patuxent’s Billy Chambers got one more shot on goal just before the final whistle, but his shot was just wide.

The Rams (0-4, 0-4) are improving their scores compared to a year ago and head coach Gary Knight is impressed with his team’s work ethic and composure.

“We got beat up pretty badly last year,” Knight said, “but the guys have worked really hard in practice and in the offseason and now we’re starting to hang with the big dogs. Last year we lost 9-1 and 10-0 to Great Mills. This year we lost in a scrimmage 4-2 and then 2-0, so we’ve really improved there. Same thing with Huntingtown last year where this year it was 1-1 at halftime. We just don’t have a deep bench.”

Knight told his team at halftime to pick up their game and finish well. He wants to see more effort in the second half and they did step it up.

“This is the first time we’ve scored in the second half and took advantage of those opportunities,” Knight said. “My whole goal was to shorten that gap between the way we play and the way the other schools play. We’re 0-4 right now, but we’re improving with every game.”

Sumpter made nine saves for the hosts.

“DJ is very, very athletic. He has good range, good hands,” Knight said. “Sometimes he gets out of position, but he holds us in games. The one goal there where he came out and the ball went over his head was tough because my two inside defenders both have ankle injuries and they couldn’t turn and move, so it was basically two [Patuxent] players on him.”

Patuxent 4, McDonough 2

Patuxent 3 1

McDonough 0 2

Goals: Patuxent (Hayden 2, Elder, Chaconas); McDonough (Tabo, Forest)

Saves: Patuxent (Frawley 4); McDonough (Sumpter 9)