Tom O’Brien envisioned his Carroll Community College men’s soccer team experiencing a list of firsts when the Lynx hosted Hagerstown Community College on Tuesday afternoon for the school’s inaugural intercollegiate event.

The day was historic for Carroll, but O’Brien had his own order of things in mind — the Lynx’s first goal, first win, and first shutout. The shutout will have to wait. For now, Carroll Community College can celebrate its other firsts.

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The home team took control in the first half and pulled away for a 6-3 victory in front of an enthusiastic crowd on campus.

Andrew Nellies netted the first goal in Lynx history with about 28 minutes remaining in the first half, and Nik Haldorsen reeled off the next three in a row. The Westminster High School graduate said he wasn’t sure how to feel Tuesday, with Carroll hosting its first game coming off a disappointing showing last week in a scrimmage against Stevenson.

Carroll's Nikolai Haldorsen watches as his shot past fallen Hagerstown goalie Tshimanga Lumu enters the net for a goal during a mens soccer match at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, August 27. The game was the first official athletics contest in the history of the school.
Carroll's Nikolai Haldorsen watches as his shot past fallen Hagerstown goalie Tshimanga Lumu enters the net for a goal during a mens soccer match at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, August 27. The game was the first official athletics contest in the history of the school. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

“When I got here, I saw everyone and I was little bit nervous, but I was extremely excited to play in this game,” Haldorsen said. “And then to finally get a goal in, and then one more and one after that, it’s just a great feeling. ... This score definitely shows that no one should mess with the Lynx.”

Hagerstown (0-2, 0-1 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference) scored first, but O’Brien said he was pleased to see Carroll respond to its early deficit. Nellies tied things up with a shot that the forward tucked inside the far post from short range. The Marriottsville resident said it felt good to play, let alone score, since he was coming off hip and shoulder injuries that limited him during the preseason.

“I knew I was still a little rusty from having to sit so much,” Nellies said. “To be able to come out here and get that first goal for the school, it was something I’ve been dreaming about for a while.”

Nellies added another goal in the second half, and Kaleb Lippy also scored for the Lynx (1-0, 1-0). Joe Lippy added two assists, and goalie Justin Ricketts (Liberty) made three saves.

Anthony Goad (Liberty), Adam Bowersox (Manchester Valley), and Matthew Kurtz (Winters Mill) all had assists for Carroll, and Kaleb Lippy had one assist to go with his goal.

“I woke up kind of nervous a little bit,” Haldorsen said. “We hadn’t played our first game as a team before ... but I know we have the chemistry. We all love each other on this team. We’re all brothers.”

Members of the mens soccer team salute their fans following their 6-3 win over Hagerstown at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, August 27. The game against Hagerstown was the first official athletics contest in the history of the school.
Members of the mens soccer team salute their fans following their 6-3 win over Hagerstown at Carroll Community College on Tuesday, August 27. The game against Hagerstown was the first official athletics contest in the history of the school. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Haldorsen got to score in front of his alma mater, as members of Westminster’s soccer program joined those from Winters Mill in taking in the game from the hillside at Carroll’s soccer field. The inaugural event featured a pre-game ceremony led by college president James Ball. School officials and college students mingled around the field and along the hill, which created a lively atmosphere.

“Think about how cool the environment was, right?” O’Brien said.

His team has a week to get ready for game No. 2, on the road Sept. 3 against Howard Community College. The Lynx are back home Sept. 5 to take on Allegany College of Maryland. Maryland JUCO play continues from there, and the Lynx get nine games in September to use as a gauge of where the program lies in its infant stages.

Tuesday’s win was a great start, Carroll players and coaches agreed.

“We can totally compete with anybody,” Nellies said. “We’ve just got to keep our heads in it and not lose our cool. That’s often the difference between victory and defeat.”

Added O’Brien: “The real word here was fun. We went out and we played a game that we loved, we played pretty well. We’re going to get better over time, and we had fun doing it.”

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