Already ahead 2-0 in the second half of the Maryland boys’ soccer 2A state championship, Damascus looked to put Century away.
A through pass gravitated toward senior Erik Rodriguez. After navigating toward the goal, Rodriguez stopped on a dime, sending his defender off his trail.
With an opening at hand, Rodriguez scored, sealing the deal for the Swarmin’ Hornets, who clinched their first ever state title.
“When I came to school, I wanted to win something,” Rodriguez said. “All the players gave everything to win and represent the school and Montgomery County.”
Rodriguez, who moved to Damascus from Honduras before his sophomore season, ran toward his sideline overcome with emotion. His teammates met him in celebration.
What a moment.
A few years ago, defender Erik Rodriguez moved to Damascus from Honduras.
Tonight, in his final game at the school, he scored the goal that put the team's 3-1 state title victory out of reach. @dhshornetsAD @DHS_Principal @DHS_Swarm @MCPSAthletics @DCNewsNow pic.twitter.com/VbN762Xb3V
— Alex Flum (@AlexFlumTV) November 17, 2023
Rodriguez is this week’s Montgomery County High School Athlete of the Week.
Each week throughout the school year, the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame is partnering with Montgomery Community Media to honor an Athlete of the Week from the county’s more than 40 public and private high schools.
Rodriguez’s game-sealing score was his tenth goal of the season. Damascus finished the season 16-2, with its lone losses coming to Northwest and Walter Johnson.
When he first started playing at Damascus in 2021, the language barrier made communication difficult.
“My first year was very difficult because I didn’t know how to ask for the ball,” Rodriguez said. “The second year was a little better because I already understood and learned as much as I could.”
Rodriguez said he’s grateful the Damascus community welcomed him with open arms and gave him a chance to study and play.
image courtesy of Erik Rodriguez on Instagram