Catonsville High’s lacrosse team picked up the school’s biggest victory of the season and fittingly, the seniors were keys to the 7-5 triumph over Towson on Senior Night.
Before the game, nine Comet seniors were recognized in a brief ceremony, and three of them went on to have outstanding games.
Goalie AJ Beck had 16 saves, including some that were one on one opportunities.
He faced 29 Towson High shots.
Defenseman Stevie Ruppel dominated in the back and came up with a huge forced turnover that helped the Comets kill a critical two-minute non-releasable penalty with the Comets clinging to a 4-2 lead early in the third quarter.
Senior attackman Dillon Hannah scored two goals and had pair of assists to lead the Comets (4-9) in points.
“Our goalie has been playing great,” Catonsville coach Aaron Stubbs said. “Some of the saves he made were great. I couldn’t be more impressed with him and I couldn’t be more impressed with Steve Ruppel and Dillon Hannah.”
Both defenses were flawless during a scoreless first quarter.
In addition to Ruppel and Beck, the Comets got spirited defensive efforts from Jake Bredeck, Tommy Sadler and Nick Ellsworth.
Towson’s back line was anchored by goalie Colby Hogan and he was protected by Josh Rittier, Graham Sevy and Will Huckenpoehler.
Towson’s Jack Ware finally broke the scoreless tie with 8:23 left in the first half, but Catonsville’s Hannah responded with the equalizer 17 seconds later.
Senior John Noppenberger assisted sophomore Andrew Peabody for a 2-1 Comet lead with 6:23 left, but Ware assisted AJ Bosse to tie the game at 2-2 before halftime.
The Comets started the second half a man up for 47 seconds and failed to capitalize, but Hannah scored the go-ahead goal with 10:17 remaining in the third quarter after he faked, and drifted to his left before firing the shot.
“Usually when I come down on the fast break, my friend Colin (Burk) is right there, but he wasn’t there, he was backing up the goal,” Hannah said.
Towson (5-6) threatened to tie, but Sadler saved a goal by checking a Towson attackman who had broken free on the crease.
Beck also made a pair of excellent saves in a 13-second span with just over nine minutes remaining while the Comets were a man down.
Beck was seeing the ball really well all night.
“It looked like a beach ball to me,” he said.
After the Comets killed the penalty, Hannah assisted Peabody for his second goal of the night and Catonsville had a 4-2 lead with 8:20 left in the period.
Just 12 seconds later, the Comets were whistled for a two-minute unreleasable penalty and that’s when Ruppel came to the rescue with his strip.