Catonsville junior Jenn Nonn scored a pair of goals in the second half and the Comet defense pitched a shutout in a 2-0 whitewash of Dulaney in the Class 4A North Region girls soccer quarterfinals.
The win advanced the top-seeded Comets (13-1) to a regional semifinal date with Perry Hall, at Catonsville High, Friday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m.
Nonn’s first goal came after a long low direct kick from Renee Gast with 24:39 left in the second half.
“They didn’t really mark me and they thought they would head the ball and it was just right there and I just hit it with my left,” Nonn said. “It was a forward’s dream.”
Fitzpatrick was just happy his leading scorer was there to capitalize on the free ball.
“They made an unfortunate mistake and Jenn made them pay for it,” Fitzpatrick said. “That is what you never want to happen in a close game.”
It nearly happened halfway through the first half when Catonsville’s Claudia Flister dribbled past a pair of defenders down the sidelines and pushed her angled shot past goalie Jessica Hill, but Lion freshman defender Mackenzie Gandy saved the shot from the end line.
Gandy, twin sister Melanie, All-County selection Annie Sachs and Nina Gayleard are all freshmen who started in the back for the Lions.
“Their defense has improved,” Fitzpatrick said. “They are steady in the back.”
“We start four freshmen in the back so there is bound to be growth,” Dulaney coach Steve Power said.
But forwards Flister, Nonn, Deb Milani and Lila Nazarian kept the pressure on all night.
“The whole striker rotation really made the difference for us tonight,” Fitzpatrick said. “Those four rotate and it keeps them fresh.”
The defense of wingbacks Anna Higdon and Katie Viets, sweeper Lauren Vogelpohl, stopper Gast and defensive midfielder Nicole Jounan stonewalled the Lion defense throughout the night.
Gast’s long ball led to the Comets' second goal, which Flister hustled down deep in the corner and then she drew a foul in the penalty box.
Nonn leaked the penalty kick into the right corner for an insurmountable 2-0 lead with 3:53 left. After the game she turned her attention to Perry Hall.
“That is going to be a really tough game,” Nonn said. “We lost to them (three times) last year and they are our rivals, but we did beat them this year and they are going to come out really strong, so we just have to play our best game.”
Perry Hall lost to Eastern Tech in the Baltimore County championship game, but Dulaney’s Power, whose Lions lost twice to Catonsville by two goals during the season, praised the Comets.
“To be honest, I know another team won the thing (county title), but I thought far and away they (Catonsville) were the best team in the county,” Power said.