It took just 78 seconds for the Eastern Tech girls soccer squad to get on the scoreboard and set the tone for an eventual 3-0 victory on senior night at Catonsville High Tuesday.
The host Comets (2-8-2) honored 11 seniors before the game and coach Melissa Vega Wynn started all of them, but it was Eastern Tech (5-2-2) that did the early celebrating when sophomore Emily Reese converted a cross from Abby Lee for a 1-0 lead.
It was the only goal of the half, but both teams had chances.
Eastern Tech took 11 shots in the first half and seven were saved by goalie Adele Jones.
“She played well in the first half and we could have shot a little better at times.” Eastern Tech coach Kim Williams said.
Three of Jones’ first-half saves were acrobatic.
With 33:55 left in the first half she dove to her right and made a one-handed diving save on a shot by Emma Koller.
She also stopped one from Christina Tien and another from Koller in a 1-on-1 situation.
Catonsville took four shots in the first half and the best chance was a shot taken by Marisa Massimini that leaked just wide.
Massimini had split two defenders and had a 1v1 with goalie Paige Mathias.
Catonsville’s only shot on goal in the first half came from Melena Wray.
The Comets’ defense, led by seniors Milena Stephen, Shenan Reese and Kassidy Boehl bent, but didn’t break after the early goal.
But Koller finally converted a breakaway just over six minutes into the second half for the 2-0 lead.
“We play a very high-pressure defense,” Vega Wynn said. “We ask a lot of the defenders to really push up and all it takes is the other team executing on that 1v1 or breakaway and it’s bound to happen and that is what we are seeing the last couple of games.”
Koller was just happy to cash in on one of her chances.
“I feel like we’ve had so many opportunities, I felt like we had to score at that point,” Koller said. “I felt that kind of locked it up and got us going.”
The Mavericks final tally came on a breakaway by Alexis Prisco with 22:24 left in the game.
Prisco’s first shot was rejected by Jones, but she deposited the rebound.
Jones had four saves in the second half and finished with 11.
“We don’t necessarily go for the kick and run,” Williams said. “We also lead whoever is up top or on the outside, but you saw plenty of pretty passes in the box too, so we definitely are working on trying to mix up the attack and not always do the same thing. We mixed up the scoring tonight.”
Catonsville got an early shot on goal in the second half from Jordan Edwards, but its closest scoring chance came after a free kick by Hannah Morgan to the far post. The ball was re-directed by Sofia Aquino and saved by Mathias with 3:15 left in the game.
Despite the loss, Vega Wynn was happy to get her complete senior unit out on the field together.
“It was great for them to have an opportunity, for all of them to be healthy,” Vega Wynn said. “This was the first game every single senior was healthy, so they were able to share this time together and that was important for us as a team.”
The seniors included Kylie Thaxter, Kathleen Stubbs, Darcy Blottenberger, Rachel Harris, Sophia Rivera, Taylor Whalen, Stephen, Morgan, Massimini, Reese and Boehl.