Catonsville trailed Walter Johnson, 1-0, at halftime of the Class 4A state semifinals, but the Comets came out in the second half, gliding swiftly on the Franklin High field turf, and driving balls down the field like they were shot out of a cannon.
Some Comets said they couldn’t feel the light snow that was falling in the second half of Wednesday night’s game.
Perhaps they were just too quick for it.
The hard work and hastened pace paid off and the Comets (13-3) scored a pair of goals and stunned the Wildcats (13-2), 2-1.
The triumph advances them to the state championship game at 6:30 on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Washington College.
The Comets will play South River, who defeated Blake, 8-1, in the other semifinal.
Maddie Hunt’s drive set up Brooke Stevens for the first goal with 18:37 left in the second half.
Just under five minutes later, Grace Campbell punched home the game winner after shots from Stevens and Catherine Sweeney.
That sequence began after a long drive from senior Maggie Whelley.
Walter Johnson’s Anna Rowthorn-Apel scored her 24th goal of the season for the Wildcats' 1-0 lead in the first half.
“It seems like it is surreal,” said Stevens, who also had three goals in the final two games of the regional tournament. “I can’t even believe it.”
Hunt, a senior, provided Stevens’ scoring opportunity by combining her endless energy with Catonsville coach Lindsay Gullborg’s advice.
“I was just pumped,” Hunt said. “I was just trying to get the ball down the field and I kept following it. Coach let’s us know we’ve got to follow the ball and get it down the field and I know my forwards will take care of it once I get it down the field.”
Stevens (14 goals, 6 assists) was more than happy to get a breakaway, after being thwarted, along with sophomore scoring threats Emma Clark (9 goals, 3 assists) and Sweeney (7 goals) and senior Campbell (11 goals), several times in the first half.
“I felt like the whole time I was getting it down the sidelines, but they were pushing a lot and I had to get a step in front of them,” Stevens said.
Stevens nearly took it across the end line, but at the last second she singed the back of the left side of the cage from the right side.
“I was almost there and I heard Grace calling from the post to cross it and I just hit it as hard as I could,” Stevens said.
Campbell’s game-winning goal with 13:41 left in regulation wasn’t as cut and dry.
Whelley sent a drive from beyond midfield and Stevens carried it into the circle, and that’s where the fun began for the Comets.
“We were just so excited and were just ready to score another goal,” Campbell said. “We were so close and Brooke just hit it and Catherine hit it and it was just right there and I just nailed it in. I’ve never been that excited.”