By FC Frederick
The phrase “when it rains, it pours” played out in multiple ways Saturday night in the home opener for FC Frederick.
The match at St. John’s Catholic Prep started in a light rain that turned heavy before halftime, and the match stayed scoreless for nearly 35 minutes before a three-goal outburst in 12 minutes helped Annapolis Blues FC roll to a 5-0 victory.
Annapolis, an NPSL newcomer, is 1-0-1, while FC Frederick is 0-1.
Jacob Murrell, a Georgetown starter and 2022 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, was the offensive star Saturday night, netting three goals – all coming between the 33rd and 57th minutes. Toshi Davis and Gordon Bernlohr scored the other goals, while Justin Harris finished with three assists.
Griffin Hemmendinger and Brian Lanzer shared the shutout in goal with Hemmendinger playing the first 85 minutes.
The match was scoreless through 32 minutes, and FC Frederick held an advantage in shots and quality chances. But the game changed quickly a minute later. Murrell received a through ball and gently chipped FC Frederick goalkeeper Gonzalo Bartoli to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Only four minutes later, Davis doubled the margin. Just before the halftime whistle, Murrell scored again.
Murrell capped his hat trick in the 57th minute and Bernlohr finished the scoring in the 78th minute, handing FC Frederick its most lopsided season-opening loss ever. In fact, the final score matched an FC Frederick record for largest margin of defeat (also 5-0, vs. Northern Virginia United in 2019).
In another historical note for FC Frederick, the Eskay brothers – Jackson, William, and John Andrew – took the field together for the first time since 2018 and most likely the last time. While John Andrew, who recently finished his college career at the University of South Carolina, is a mainstay on the FC Frederick roster, Jackson, a former USL player, and William, currently playing pro indoor with the St. Louis Ambush, each were making a token appearance.
Jackson Eskay wore a T-shirt beneath his No. 24 jersey with the hand-written note: “I do it for the fam.”
The Eskay brothers were all in town to celebrate the college graduation of a younger sister. Following the ceremony, the brothers rushed to Buckeystown and the trio entered the match to start the second half. It marked the first time all three had been on the field together since July 2, 2018 against Charlottesville Alliance FC in the NPSL regular-season finale. William played all 90 minutes that match and Jackson entered as a sub in the 55th minute. John A. came onto the field in the 66th minute. All three remained on the field to the end of the draw, which clinched a playoff berth for the team.
When John A. and William entered the match Saturday against Annapolis Blues, it marked the sixth season in which they each have played in NPSL for FC Frederick. John A. has played every season since 2017, and William’s tenure ran from 2015-2018 with solo appearances now in 2021 and 2023.
Photo Credit: FC Frederick