Led by freshmen phenoms Caroline Morton and Catalina Lennon, Atholton earned its first win of the season by convincingly defeating Liberty during its first game of the Catonsville tournament Saturday.
“They’ve been show-stoppers since tryouts so it’s great that they’ve been able to join the team and be able to work with the older girls so easily and so quickly,” said Raiders coach Stephanie Stoutenborough. “I’m not surprised that they stood out today and that’s basically what I expect from them.”
The Raiders then backed up that victory with another in the team's nightcap against host Catonsville. Jetta Owens scored the game's only goal in the first half off a corner kick by Emma Johnson and then the defense did the rest in a 1-0 victory. Atholton was the lone team in the tournament to win twice.
Against Liberty, Atholton played patiently throughout the contest. The team was able to string several passes together, developing the play all the way toward their forwards. The Lions backline had no answer for any of the Raiders strikers, as Lennon, Morton, Jaylyn Chandler and Holly Edsall all took turns getting through the defense.
“After a couple very competitive scrimmages, we’re finally being able to keep possession and work the ball around, which is our game plan.” Stoutenborough said after the 3-0 win. “And just to be able to get it to our forwards up top to get some scoring opportunities.”
Atholton’s first goal came at the 21:57 mark of the first half. Morton dribbled through the 18-yard box, beat her defender and poked her shot past Liberty goalkeeper, Christina Charikofsky. About seven minutes later, the Raiders added another. Kate Johnson put a nice through ball to the feet of Lennon, who beat her defender and knocked in her first goal of the afternoon.
The second half was even more dominate than the first for the Raiders. They had several chances to double their final goal total, but couldn’t seem to find the mark. Katie Cardea tried slotting in a shot just outside the six-yard box but Charikofsky made a diving stop. Then Lennon nearly added another, striking a ball from about 15-yards out that was heading into the net until Charikofsky tipped her shot just over the cross bar.
But Lennon would find her second of the day with 17 minutes left in the second half. Morton played a neat through-ball where Lennon could run on to it. She beat her defender and slotted her shot past Charikofsky, earning Atholton a 3-0 lead.
“I think I’m getting more used to playing with bigger girls and stand my ground more,” Lennon said after the game. “I think we did a lot more passing and did a lot of through balls and we were able to run past and beat the defenders.”
Searching for her first career hat trick during her second varsity game, Lennon blasted another shot about 20-yards out that ricocheted off the cross bar and out of play. Although disappointed she couldn’t put away another opportunity, she was happy about her overall performance.
“The keeper just did really well,” Lennon said. “She tipped it up (on the first shot) and the second time she just got right in front and I didn’t have time to chip it over. But she was really good, so I’m proud of (my performance).”
Lennon finished with two goals on six shots. Morton had one shot on goal, which she put in, while also tallying an assist on the day. Kate Johnson finished with one assist and two shots on frame.
“I thought I played well,” Morton said. “I’m getting used to the team now (and) I think we’ve gotten better after days of practicing. I was a little more nervous last game, I wasn’t so nervous this game.”
Atholton had dropped a 1-0 decision in its season opener on Friday against Century before rebounding to win both its games Saturday.
Against Catonsville, aside from the early goal, the story was the team's defense. The Raiders pitched their second straight shut out, with goalie Devon Bodziony making five saves.
The Raiders (2-0-1) next outing comes against Howard on Wednesday, its first county game of the season.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost (Friday) but we had four or five scoring chances, so we could have easily tied that game up or won it if those goals had gone in,” Stoutenborough said after the Raiders win against Liberty. “But I think it helps our confidence a little bit, being able to pass the ball around a lot easier, and getting some more scoring opportunities, so hopefully this will help us going into counties next week.”
Around the League
Catonsville 2, Mt. Hebron 0 (Catonsville Tournament, Sept. 5)
The Vikings first game of the season came against hosting Catonsville, Sept. 5. Kayla Wood and Abigail Crowell each tallied a goal for the Comets. Catonsville outmatched Mt. Hebron and took an early 1-0 lead heading into halftime and although the Vikings played better in the following 40-minutes, they had troubling clearing the ball on the defensive third of the field, leading to set pieces and corner kicks. Eventually, the Comets took advantage and capitalized off a corner kick, which put them up 2-0.
Goals: C – Wood, Crowell
Liberty 2, Mt. Hebron 1 (Catonsville Tournament, Sept. 5)
The Vikings couldn’t take advantage of possessions inside the 18-yard box, leading to a 0-0 score entering halftime. Mt. Hebron possessed the ball well in the second half and controlled the game more than in the first 40 minutes of action. Freshman Maggie Roman scored the lone goal for the Vikings, putting them ahead 1-0. However, one minute later a questionable high-kick call inside the 18 set up a direct kick for Liberty just outside the box. The Lions capitalized, tying the game at one. Then tacked on the go-ahead goal two minutes later, going up 2-1 and handing Mt. Hebron its second loss of the day.
Centennial 1, Chesapeake 1 (Arundel Tournament, Sept. 5)
After getting its first win of the season Friday night, Centennial was back in action at Anne Arundel Community College Saturday morning against Chesapeake. According to coach Steven Baxter, the Raiders played more of a complete game than Friday, but couldn’t convert on chances in the six-yard box. Reese Western hit the cross bar in the 28th minute of the first half, which would have given Centennial the early lead, but in turn, the Cougars responded with a goal 15 minutes later. The Raiders stood ground the rest of the match, not conceding a single shot on net after. Centennial tied the game up with six minutes left in the game, as Madi Griffin found Western in the box after a nice build up on the outside. Western turned, beat her defender and placed the game-tying shot in the back of net. The Raiders (1-1-0) next game is at home against Long Reach on Thursday.
Goals: CHS – Western; CHES – Miley
Assists: CHS – Griffin
Saves: CHS – Durkee 4; CHES – Ziaja 5
Wilde Lake 3, Tuscarora 0 (Tuscarora Tournament, Sept. 5)
Goals: WL – Lazris 3, Radcliffe
Assists: WL – Drury, Dunbar
Saves: WL – Hutchison 7
Wilde Lake 6, Thomas Jefferson 0 (Tuscarora Tournament, Sept. 5)
Goals: WL – Drury 2, Lazris 2, Radcliffe, Hudec
Assists: Drury, Lazris, Radcliffe
Saves: WL – Hutchison 7
Urbana 6, Hammond 1 (Middletown Tournament, Sept. 5)
Goals: Ha – Lastova
Saves: Ha – Howard 8
Middletown 3, Hammond 0 (Middletown Tournament, Sept. 5)
Saves: Ha – Howard 6
Oakland Mills 1, Blake 0 (Oakland Mills Tournament, Sept. 5)
Goals: OM – Browne
Saves: OM – Yarn 5; B – Taylor 8
Loch Raven 1, Oakland Mills 0 (Oakland Mills Tournament, Sept. 5)