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Catonsville girls spread the scoring in soccer victory over Oakland Mills

Catonsville girls soccer coach Ricky Sanchez saw his three-year plan as head coach come into focus in Friday night’s season-opening 4-0 triumph over Oakland Mills as four different players scored for the host Comets.

“We saw different players step up and contribute and that’s what we’ve been trying to work on for three years now,” Sanchez said.

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Senior Kolby Weedon scored the first goal, off of Addi Parrott’s assist, to give the Comets a 1-0 lead seven minutes into the game.

The Oakland Mills defense of Haley Barnham, Lilly Smull, Alexie Opperman and Alanna Opperman and goalie Ella Novgak bent, but didn’t break and the Scorpions only trailed 1-0 at halftime.

Annabelle Dunigan had a point-blank save corralled by Novak, Lindsey Marshall had a shot that leaked wide and Karis Devaney had a goal nullified by offsides.

At halftime, Sanchez reminded his team they only led 1-0, despite dominating shot attempts and time of possession.

“They said it feels like it (the lead) is more and I said, ‘Right, lets go play, let’s go figure that out,’” he said.

They did just that, exploding for three goals in the second half.

It started when Parrott converted a cross from Riley Scott 115 seconds into the second half.

“We did keep up the pressure,” Parrott said. “We were hustling to the balls a lot and we were making connections.”

Scott assisted Dunnigan for a header and 3-0 lead with 23:40 left in the second half and Hazel Montgomery-Walsh scored the final tally on a booming shot from 30 yards out with 15 minutes left.

Oakland Mills' Alexie Opperman can only watch as Catonsville' s Annabelle Dunigan is greeted by teammates Lindsey Marshall (L) and Hazel Montgomery-Walsh (R) after scoring the Comets' third goal during Friday evening's match between Catonsville and Oakland Mills in Catonsville.
Oakland Mills' Alexie Opperman can only watch as Catonsville' s Annabelle Dunigan is greeted by teammates Lindsey Marshall (L) and Hazel Montgomery-Walsh (R) after scoring the Comets' third goal during Friday evening's match between Catonsville and Oakland Mills in Catonsville. (Doug Kapustin/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

“We’ve been talking about that for three years,” Sanchez said. “She’s got the touch now and she’s got the power.”

The Comets continually pressured the Oakland Mills defense and they capitalized on mistakes.

“Little things that we turn off for a second and good teams are going to be able to punish you,” Oakland Mills coach Hassan Mostafa said. “Good teams with good players are going to be able to put the ball in the back of the net on you.”

The Scorpions graduated two starting center backs last year and a goalie and this year’s senior goalie Jaidyn Harris was inactive.

“With a young team it’s a little frustrating sometimes because you know mistakes that didn’t happen last year are coming up now and the urgency is just not there right now,” said Mostafa, whose Scorpions were 9-5 last season. “It’s going to take some time to get there, but I think, eventually, once we get the confidence under the girls and stuff like that I think it will be okay.”

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Midfielder Jasmine Washington showed some hustle and freshman forward Kaity Browne looked like a threat on offense, but she rarely touched the ball.

“We’ve got to figure out how to get her the ball,” Mostafa said.

Catonsville’s defense of Casey Buckley, Katy Lamb, Sofia Pulone and Hannah Morgan, in front of keepers Caitlin Celonka and Adele Jones, and midfielders Lily Mellendick, Montgomery-Walsh, Grace Konizeski, Taylor Whalen and Dunigan made it difficult for the Scorpions to generate any offense.

“We played a pretty good back line, unfortunately we couldn’t test the keeper enough today” Mostafa said. “We had maybe two or three shots and only one on target.”

On the other side, Sanchez was pleased with his team’s performance in the first game of the Comet Invitational tournament, which continues tomorrow when the Comets host Centennial at 4 p.m.

“It was good that we executed and we talked about that all pre-season,” Sanchez said. “We saw a lot of plays out here that we talked about, the girls performing what we asked them to do, just reading the plays and taking advantage of what teams give us.”

Parrott also enjoyed opening day.

“It feels amazing. It’s a great start to the season,” she said. “I think we are going to be pretty good this year. We lost a couple strong seniors last year, but with a bunch of the new players, I think we are going to be really good.”

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