That left it up to the defense of Whelley, Kelly Reymann and Julianna Keagle, goalie Vanessa Tracy and midfielders Rachel Saks, Kendall Law and Hunt to protect the lead.
They stopped many drives with several well-placed blocks and repeatedly turned them into attacking runs.
“It’s only a matter of time when you are rushing and playing that well,” coach Gullborg said. “You’ve got the adrenaline, you’ve got the speed and the sticks skills.”
Walter Johnson junior standout Rowthorn-Apel also had the speed and stickwork and was constantly around the ball.
She scored on a wicked drive, after a penalty corner pass from Megan Root in the first half, but didn’t get the ball inside the Comets’ circle until there was less than a minute left in the second half.
Reymann, a junior, noted the defense pushed forward to control the midfield.
“We had it down our end and we needed that extra level because we can’t let them have the middle and carry the ball because they had the speed,” said Reymann, who had little fear of allowing an uncontested breakaway. “We do a diagonal line so have the furthest person in the back, so we have the last line of defense. Usually, someone is always there at the right time.”
Even Stevens, a forward, was aware they needed to stop Rowthorn-Apel.
“Our plan was on shutting her down and we really couldn’t stay with her the whole time, but we did the best we could,” said the junior.
Gullborg and Campbell knew the Comets would be in shape for the comeback because of ‘Muscle Monday’ practices, which stressed conditioning, running and more running.
She started those grueling workouts after back-to-back losses to Dulaney and Hereford and the Comets have won 10 straight.
“I definitely think the conditioning paid off,” Campbell said.
But, it’s more than just being in shape that has produced the success.
“In the past five years of my coaching, I have never seen a more talented Catonsville field hockey team,” Gullborg said. “The real credit goes to those 21 players on the bench and on the field. They are the most incredible group of girls I’ve ever worked with.”
The rest of the roster includes seniors Moire Campbell, Maddie Snap and Sydney Corbitt and juniors Chloe Corbitt, Kali Martin, Meghan Saddler, Taylor Hornfeck, Maura Elliott, Kelly Brady and Kirby Sauble.
“They are my pride and joy right now,” Gullborg said. “I only hope to have a daughter like every single one of them. I am humbled. I am honored, I am speechless.”