It didn't take Patterson's Danny Melgarejo long to adapt to the swift pace or the physical nature of the Baltimore City Class 4A boys soccer league.
After starting the season on Patterson's junior varsity, Melgarejo was promoted to the varsity just last week by Clippers coach Derek Macki.
The promotion was deemed an early success when Melgarejo scored two goals in Patterson's win over Southern.
Yesterday, Melgarejo made it certifiable. The freshman forward scored two goals again, leading host Patterson to a 3-0 victory over previously unbeaten City.
"Danny didn't come out for the JV team until we started school and I didn't see enough of him, so he stayed down on the junior varsity," said Macki, whose team remains in playoff contention with a 5-1-1 record.
Melgarejo opened the scoring 4:27 into the game when he took a pass from senior Artur Szewzyck and slipped it past City's goalie Matt Taylor (seven saves).
The Clippers, who lost to City 3-0 earlier in the season, nearly took a two-goal lead a few minutes later, but Jeff Geotz' header that followed John Hollen's corner kick caught the crossbar and caromed back.
City suffered its biggest setback with 14:30 left in the first half. That's when Knights senior defenseman Ben Shayne was ejected for tripping Szewzyck inside the box.
Szewzyck made the Knights pay when he found the right corner of the net on the penalty kick to make it 2-0.
The Knights (5-1, 5-1) saw their slim chance at a comeback reduced when senior defensemen Jesse Schreier was ejected for tripping Szewzyck.
Patterson, with a two-man advantage, added a third goal with 4:52 left on Melgarejo's unassisted goal.