Gast, who played wing midfielder as a freshman and stopper as a sophomore before moving to striker this season, also had a shot off the post with under 11 minutes remaining.

Scoring chances that Fitzpatrick is glad to see from both of his strikers.

“We know Jenn has a striker’s mentality and Renee has a good striker’s mentality and they don’t mind missing and that’s really what you’ve got to have because you know you are going to have another chance.”

Manchester’s best scoring chances in the final four minutes came on long free kicks by Dani Rill and Cullison, but they were corralled by Croom and the Comets held on for the victory.

“It is a good win,” Fitzpatrick said.

Miller was just glad to put his squad up against quality competition.

“We come down here to play on turf because we don’t get to play on turf, except for here and in the state playoffs, so we try to get some experience, but we knew Catonsville is always a good team,” he said. “You just want to play to where you can raise your level.”

Catonsville boys earn season-opening victory

Catonsville senior striker Michael Heaney scored the only goal of the game in the first half as the Comet boys opened up the 14th annual Catonsville Invitational Tournament with a 1-0 victory over Manchester Valley.

Goalie A.J. Beck made two fines saves to preserve the victory for the Comets, who got strong midfield and defensive play from Daniel Kim, Will Johnson, Sam Khan, Liam Llorin Jordan Llorin and Shay Gregory.

Manchester Valley’s best scoring chance came with 5:50 left on a shot by Mark Shuster that was saved in the top corner by Beck.

Isiah Dorsey also had a strong scoring chance in the waning moments and Maverick goalie Kyle Johnson made some fine saves to keep the game close.

“I thought we played well,” Catonsville coach Vic Vega said. “I’m pleased because it’s going to be a challenging year because we are so young.”

Catonsville had to replace 14 players from last year’s squad that lost in the Baltimore County championship game to Perry Hall a year after they won the county title in 2011.

Last year’s Comets finished 12-1-2, but lost in the regional finals to Westminster.