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Catonsville girls soccer holds off Mt. Hebron in opener

Catonsville's girls soccer team scored two goals less than a minute apart midway through the first half and held off a determined Mt. Hebron team for a 2-1 victory in the first game of the 15th annual Catonsville Invitational Soccer Tournament Friday afternoon.

The tournament continues Saturday will a full slate of boys and girls games.

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The Catonsville boys host Mt. Hebron at 8 a.m., followed by the Atholton and Manchester Valley boys at 9:45 a.m.

The Atholton girls play Manchester Valley at 11:30 a.m., and the Manchester Valley boys play Mt. Hebron at 1:30.

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At 3:30 p.m., the Manchester Valley girls play Mt. Hebron, and at 5:30, the Catonsville girls play Atholton.

The day concludes with the Catonsville boys playing Atholton at 7:30.

Catonsville's girls opened the tournament with the first win for new coach Gary Lynch, who had a career mark of 243-75-18 coaching the John Carroll High girls for 16 seasons. His best team was the undefeated 2004 squad (21-0) that was named best in the country.

Lynch took over for James Fitzpatrick, who guided the 2013 Comets to a 17-2 record and a berth in the state championship game, which they lost to Walt Whitman. Seven starters are back from that team.

But in the opener, the heat seemed to slow both teams. The game was played in such humid conditions that officials gave both teams a water break at the halfway mark of each half.

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Five seconds before the first break, Jenn Nonn scored off a Kelsey Scott assist for a 1-0 lead. It was Nonn's 68th career goal after scoring 21 last season.

"In the beginning, during the first scrimmages, I didn't really score much and when I did today, I was like, 'all right, it's back, everything is good,' " she said.

Less than a minute after the break, Ali Dingle converted Lenna Meyer's corner kick and the Comets led by two.

The flurry seemed to wake up the Vikings, who scored on a penalty kick by junior Sorana Larson with 4:08 left in the half.

"They picked it up a lot," Catonsville senior midfielder Renee Gast said. "They changed the momentum of the game after they put that PK in."

Mt. Hebron outshot Catonsville, 4-1, in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

Jen Giles and Janette Yacynych sent their shots wide and Catonsville goalie Lauren McDonald made saves on shots by Morgan Manning and Elise Mahoney.

Mt. Hebron senior sweeper Nia Crump also squelched several Catonsville opportunities.

Her counterpart, sweeper Lauren Vogelpohl, was doing the same for Catonsville's defense.

Mt. Hebron had two shots on goal in the final 10 minutes, but attempts by Mahoney and Meghan Doherty were saved by McDonald.

The Vikings had one last scoring chance on a corner by Larson with less than 30 seconds remaining, but Vogelpohl cleared it to Dingle and she dribbled out the clock.

Lynch was pleased with Catonsville's effort, and praised Mt. Hebron's rally after the two quick goals.

"I think what happened is we got a little bit overconfident when we did that and then we gave up that goal and they got the momentum," he said. "It took us a while in the second half when we got out of our game, but the kids finally put their game back together in the last 10 minutes."

Nonn said the heat made conditions tougher.  "It was like 10 degrees hotter on the turf, but that is part of the game so you've just got to deal with it," she said.

OTHER SCORES: 

Chapelgate 5. Catholic 2

Goals: CCA - Rachel Terry 2, Jasa Curry 2, Marissa Terry 1.

Assists: CCA - Rachel Terry 1.

Glenelg Country 4, Garrison Forest 0

Goals: GC - Catelyn Gamble, Chloe Lewis, Keirsten Moore, Sabrina DeLeonibus.

Assists: GC - Deja Hursey 2, Gamble.

Saves: GC - Karli Lawrence 4.

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