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The College of Southern Maryland women’s soccer team has been a force to be reckoned with this season, winning 14 out of 15 games, including 10 shutouts.

The Hawks are currently 14-1 overall, 7-0 in the Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, and can clinch their second-straight conference title on Monday when they wrap up the regular season Monday evening at the Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville.

And the accomplishments go beyond the stats and the wins and losses.

In mid-September, CSM, moved into the national rankings, 19th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Continental Tire Division I junior college women’s soccer poll, the first time that the program has ever been ranked.

The Hawks had seven wins at that point. Seven wins later, they continue to rise in the national rankings, to No. 10 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I poll and to No. 12 in the NSCAA poll.

Of the 14 wins this season, six have come versus nationally ranked opponents in the top 20.

CSM has an 11-game winning streak going, with its lone loss of the season coming at the hands of Cape Fear (N.C.), 2-1 in Louisburg, N.C. back on Sept. 1.

“The program is growing and the girls are working really hard. We are focused on winning that region tournament, that’s our goal,” CSM head coach Adam Sanchez said, referring to the Region XX tournament, which will kick off Thursday at Harford Community College in Bel Air. “Everything that we’ve done in the season is a milestone to prepare for the tournament. It’s part of the process to boost our confidence.”

Monday, CSM hosted Monroe College of New York City, ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA poll and No. 13 in the NJCAA poll. And the Hawks kept their winning streak intact with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory.

“Mentally this was a huge win for us,” Sanchez said. “We respect Monroe a lot, we expect them to be in the national tournament, they have some fantastic players. When we are down a goal, we want to be tested and know that we can come back in difficult situations. We put on a show in the second half, we put away three goals and the game out of reach versus a nationally ranked team.”

CSM assistant women’s coach and former Hawks head men’s soccer coach Tony Galeano added, “This was a national tournament type of match. Monroe has been there and our goal as a team is to get there, so this was a great win for us and our program. The best adjustment was that in the second half we defended very well.”

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the tides turned in the second half, as Laura Shaner (Leonardtown High School graduate) scored five minutes in off of a corner kick from sophomore Sabrina Paz (Leonardtown), who’s 30th in the nation with nine assists.

In the 60th minute, freshman Taylor Superior (Leonardtown) scored off of another corner from Paz, as the ball bounced around, came out of the box and Superior turned and nailed a shot from 25 yards out.

With about eight minutes remaining, sophomore forward Alysse Houston (St. Mary’s Ryken), ranked 12th in the nation with 23 goals, scored on a breakaway off a through-ball from sophomore midfielder Jenn Foresta (Huntingtown) to cap off the scoring.

“The entire team and coaching staff have been working so hard,” said Houston, who was named conference student-athlete of the month for September. “We really feed off of each other and everyone has been concentrating on their fitness, eating right and technical work with the ball. We’ve been down in games and we’ve proven that we can come back in the second half and win.”

While on the win streak, CSM has scored 51 goals and has given up just three due to a strong swarming defense which has allowed only seven goals all season.

Between the posts, sophomore goalkeeper Jasmine Biggs is ranked third in the nation in goals against (2) and goal against average (0.24). In nine games, she has recorded 17 saves and four shutouts.

“The defense has been a big part to our success, we have great communication,” Biggs said. “The goalkeeper training has really helped me. We believe no matter what and that is what has helped us this season.”

Men’s soccer, volleyball play on; cross country begins

The CSM men’s soccer team is currently at the .500 mark overall going into the final portion of the season.

The Hawks (6-6, 5-4 MDJUCO) are on a two-game losing streak, with its most recent win coming on Oct. 4 in a 4-0 shutout of host Frederick.

CSM hosted Chesapeake College on Thursday evening to finish the regular season, with the Region XX tournament scheduled to kick off on Saturday.

Freshman forward Sean Bucior (Chopticon) leads the team this season with a team-high 41 points and 18 goals. Freshman midfielder Albert Granados-Alvarez has 9 goals and four assists on the season.

The Hawks volleyball team (14-14, 6-4) and have lost their last three matches, with the most recent win coming last Thursday versus visiting Allegany in four sets.

CSM will travel to Rockville today to take on Montgomery in a conference matchup.

Sophomore outside hitter Lexi Cox (La Plata) has a team-high 214 kills, to go along with 240 digs.

Sophomore libero Kim Brewer (Thomas Stone) leads the team with 396 digs and is tied with sophomore Holly Settle (Leonardtown) for the most aces with 32.

Sophomore middle hitter Taylor White (North Point) has a team-high 109 total blocks this season.

The CSM women’s cross country team had its first meet as a program on Saturday, participating in the Blue & Gold Cross Country Meet at White Clay Creek State Park in Newark, Del.

Jacqueline Clark (St. Mary’s Ryken) was the first Hawks runner to cross the finish line, finishing 36th overall in 25 minutes 58.03 seconds. Peyton Reynolds (Thomas Stone) was the next Hawk to finish, taking 95th overall in 31:24.69.

CSM is scheduled to be in the Hood Invitational at Utica District Park in Frederick on Saturday.

ajmason@somdnews.com