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Explosive second half lifts Mount St. Joseph past Catonsville in boys soccer

The schedule-makers didn’t do the Catonsville boys soccer team any favors by starting the season with five games in six days, and bringing in a hungry Mount Saint Joseph squad for the fifth game in that stretch proved to be another uphill battle.

Catonsville proved they had some pride by keeping the game scoreless for the first half.

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But, the visiting Gaels, coming off a 1-0 loss to Gilman in their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener, rallied with four goals in the second half for a 4-0 victory on Wednesday night.

Catonsville resident Dmitri Jordan and Tyquan Stroud, Torren Aikens and Jeremy Abrams all scored in the second half to lead the Gaels.

Shan Chung, Charles Dipino and Brett Callahan had assists for the Gaels.

“We knew if we got one, they were going to flood in, so we kept pressing, and the second half when we got that goal, it just started coming in,” Jordan said.

The flood started with a nifty cross from Van Danielson that trickled off the head of freshman Shan Chung and was deposited by Tyquan Stroud.

That came just 105 seconds into the second half. Less then four minutes later, Torren Aikens scored for a 2-0 lead.

Charles Dipino’s cross led to Jordan’s goal, the Gaels third in 10 minutes.

“It hit off one of my players and then it deflected off me,” Jordan said.

Abrams added the final goal off Callahan’s assist.

Mount St. Joe coach Mike St. Martin knew his team had to be more patient in the second half.

“It was more just talking about being more composed when you get the ball, but then sometimes, it’s about just being a little bit more aggressive, I think being on the front foot, I think sometimes we were reacting instead of anticipating,” St. Martin said. “On the one goal that was a double-header, instead of waiting to see where the ball goes, we were kind of anticipating.”

Catonsville did an outstanding job anticipating in the first half.

Senior goalie Kevin Alberg was flawless and defenders Mark Brady, Wyatt Gentner sand Dexter Weinkam all rejected shots on goal by sacrificing their bodies.

“I’m really proud of them (backs) and two of them are still coming back from injury so for them to stick it out the whole time. They are senior tri-captain Dexter Weinkam and sophomore Ashton O’Dell,” Catonsville coach Brendan Kennedy said. “They have both missed time in this five-string of games, but they came out and they played 80 minutes straight today.”

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Catonsville opened the season with back-to-back losses to Westminster, 3-0, and Leonardtown, 5-0, in the pre-season Comet Invitational.

They opened the regular season with a 4-0 loss to Century on Sept. 9, but got a 5-0 win against Pikesville the next night.

Against Pikesville, junior center midfielder Sean Campbell had two goals and an assist. Senior Seth Attenborough, junior Matt Lauer and senior Evan Pappas scored one each.

Pappas, Gentner and Weinkam are senior tri-captains for a squad that is significantly younger.

“We were very senior heavy last year and we do have a lot of seniors this year too, but we have a smaller squad then we’ve ever had since I’ve been here,” Kennedy said. “We have four sophomores and a freshman and they all either start or are top guys off the bench.”

Sophomores are Brian Ruppel, Nick Sirasky, Johnny Bolster and O’Dell and the freshman is Noah Gregory.

“Our youth are getting really good experience,” Kennedy said. “They know that it is a long season and we know early in the year is when you get the kinks out because when we turn it on, we know we are going to be alright, it’s always a longer process then we would like when we get there.”

Mount St. Joe’s Jordan was just happy to get in the win column after a tough loss to Gilman.

“We had like 90 percent possession (against Gilman), so we needed this as a confidence booster just to hop back into the season,” Jordan said.

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