ARNOLD, Md. – A late push by Prince George's Community College fell short in a 2-1 loss against Howard Community College in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Men's Soccer Region XX Division III Semifinals on Friday at Anne Arundel Community College.
Celio Grice (Riverdale, Md./Parkdale) headed in the Owls (12-4-0) lone goal of the afternoon with 10:46 left in the match. Grice took a serve from Roshawn Panton (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) from the left side and found the back of the net to cut the margin to 2-1. It was the sophomore's third tally of the season.
Prince George's had one more scoring chance, but Brian Ngoh's (Fort Washington, Md./Friendly) header missed wide left in the final four minutes of the match.
The loss ended a good season for the Owls after the squad went 12-4-0 overall and 9-3-0 in Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference play, and were nationally ranked for the entire season. Panton finished with 21 goals and nine assists for 51 points while Edwin Claros (Adelphi, Md./High Point) ended his second season with 19 goals and 17 assists for 55 points. Edwin Claros currently ranks in the Top-10 in Division III in assists and points while Panton is ranked in goals and points.
Edwin Claros is one of five sophomores that played their last game in a Prince George's uniform, finishing his career with 36 goals and 26 assists for 98 points. Grice, Jonathan Claros (Adelphi, Md./High Point), Elmer Hernandez (College Park, Md./Parkdale) and Farouk Tijani (Hyattsville, Md./Landmark) also played their final match for the Largo program on the afternoon. Jonathan Claros made two saves on the day.
The Dragons (12-5-1) jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the match. Christian Alfaro scored off a Quentin Valliente assist at 15:34 and then Alfaro gave Howard a two-goal lead after converting a PK at 62:23. Grice cut the deficit in half, but the Owls could get no closer the rest of the way.
Edwin and Jonathan Claros, Hernandez, Tijani and Fabian Castillo (Clinton, Md./Gwynn Park), who was injured for most of the season, helped Prince George's to its sixth Region XX title last season and first since the 1999 Owls. The squad has a rich tradition in the Region XX Tournament, winning six times since 1982 (1982, 1983, 1996, 1999, 2009 and 2016).