Catonsville girls soccer coach Gary Lynch was able to relax during his team’s 6-1 rout of visiting Kenwood in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs Tuesday night.
It was a dramatic change from the regular-season meeting between the schools as the rookie coach had to sweat out the Comets’ 2-1 overtime victory in Catonsville on Oct 10.
"The last time we played them, there was a lot of distractions going on," said Lynch, whose team advances to play visiting Perry Hall Friday at 7 p.m. in a regional semifinal. "Senior appreciation night and some other things. They had to play with more energy and be a little more serious."
Kenwood (6-10) had to be wary of Catonsville (10-2-3) after the Comets failed to capitalize on several outstanding chances by hitting the post four times in the first meeting.
The Bluebirds wouldn't be as lucky this time as the Comets finished. Seniors Jenn Noon and Allison Dingle led the offense with two goals each.
Nonn, Lauren McDonald and Dingle pressured Kenwood sophomore goalie Brianna Vieyra and the junior-leaden defense of Sierra Alvez, Tia Harmon, Sydney Hobbs and Madison Stech often in the early going.
The Comets forced Vieyra to make six saves in the first 20 minutes.
Catonsville broke through on its seventh shot in the 13th minute. McDonald kicked a right-footed shot from six yards out to the left corner of the goal after taking a crossing pass from Dingle on a free kick.
About 12 minutes later, Nonn beat a defender and Vieyra with a shot to the right corner from 10 yards out, making it 2-0.
The Comets went ahead 3-0 in the 28th minute on a corner kick. McDonald sent a ball to the box and Nonn put it right right over Vieyra and under the crossbar.
"I kind of knew this was coming from playing them in the past," Kenwood coach Chris Mattern said. "There was tons and tons of pressure. We were able withstand the pressure better in the first game."
And Dingle finished Catonsville’s first-half scoring on a feed from Kayla Wood.
Kenwood’s Makayla Rehbein scored with four minutes left on a breakaway, getting behind two defenders and beating keeper Natalie Croom, who was seldom tested.
Catonsville didn’t let up in the second half.
Lenna Meyer scored 19 seconds into the period, sprinting up the left sideline and beating Vieyra with a blistering shot from 15 yards out to put the Comets ahead 5-1.
Dingle capped Catonsville’s scoring on a header in the 50th minute.
The Comets rebounded well after losing six days earlier in the Baltimore County championships to Sparrows Point, 1-0.