Catonsville came into Saturday's Baltimore County Championship game against Dulaney with a simple strategy. The Comets wanted to keep the ball away from the potent Lions, and that plan worked — for the opening minutes.
No. 14 Dulaney took command midway through the first half, however, and rolled to a 16-6 victory over Catonsville at Franklin.
Dulaney (12-2-1), which was led by Kara Burke's seven goals and one assist, won its first county title in three years. This also was its second 10-goal victory over Catonsville (7-7) in recent days. The Lions topped the Comets, 17-7, late in the regular season.
Catonsville won some of the early draws and often held the ball near the Dulaney goal. The Comets were content to play catch and try and wait for some kind of opening, but the Lions' defense slowly began to create turnovers, which led to good transitions and fast-break opportunities.
"We had to be very patient," said Burke, who is headed for Loyola next fall. "We didn't push anything. We knew they were going to come out with a strong start."
Catonsville took an early 1-0 lead when Rachel Schwaab (two goals) scored from in front just under two minutes in. But Burke tied it with a goal 3:56 into the game. It was the of four in a row for her in just over six minutes, as the Lions took a 4-1 lead.
The Comets then kept the ball for over two minutes on one possession, missed on a shot, and Dulaney quickly turned that into a fast break which ended with a Kylie Hanley goal to make it 5-1. After that, the Lions began speeding up the pace and eventually stretched the lead to 9-3 at halftime.
"Defensively, we knew they were going to try to possess the ball and keep it out of our hands," said Dulaney coach Kristi Korrow. "But the girls were very effective in transition."
The Lions broke it open with six straight goals to start the second half. Kenzie Brown (three goals, one assist) and Hanley (two goals, one assist) led the way, as seven Dulaney players finished with goals.
The Lions won most of the draws in the second half and put more pressure on the Catonsville defense. Comets goalie Grace Campell (five saves) played the second half and did well, but Dulaney kept her busy.
"They kind of just wear down, wear down, wear down," said Catonsville coach Becky Clipp. "You can't give this team two, three, four chances because they're going to score."
Baltimore County Championship
Dulaney 16, Catonsville 6
Goals: C- Schwaab 2, Wallace 2, Milani, Stevens; D- Burke 7, Brown 3, Hanley 2, Lagomarsino, Seitz, DelBene, Wassel. Assists: D- Burke, Brown, Hanley. Saves: C-Schmulowitz 2, Campbell 5; D- Meegan 5, Elmer 6. Half: D, 9-3.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun