Catonsville built a 2-0 lead before a quick thunderstorm delayed Wednesday’s game for 35 minutes in the second half, and the unbeaten No. 7 Comets (5-0-1) added an insurance goal in a 3-0 victory over visiting Dulaney (4-2).
Catonsville junior Bryan Barrientos had a pair of goals and Nick Sirasky added a goal to lead the way. Ashton O’Dell, Gavin Elder and Tyler Mikalaski had assists.
Barrientos scored the first goal from 26 yards out on the Comets first’ shot on net with 8:24 left in the first half. He received a pass in the middle of the field with his back to the goal, turned and one-timed a shot into the back of the net.
“It was right place, right time. It just bounced in front of me and I said, ‘let me try it,’ and I just went for it,” said Barrientos, who admitted he doesn’t practice that shot. “It just came to me.”
With 2:36 left in the first half, Sirasky scored from 30 yards out off an assist from Elder.
“I was aiming for the right post and it went top right,” Sirasky said.
“Both of those guys found pockets of space to operate in and they did what they needed to do,” Dulaney coach Dan LaHatte said. “They both hit unbelievable strikes and that happens sometimes.”
Catonsville coach Brendan Kennedy, who had the misfortune of missing Barrientos’ first goal, wasn’t surprised.
“I turned around to get my water bottle and I missed the best goal of the season so far,” Kennedy said.
Barrientos, whose last goal came on a breakaway after a precision pass by Mikalaski, leads the Comets with five goals, while Sirasky has four.
“They have been our two most consistent goal scorers,” Kennedy said. “We’ve had a handful of guys that have done well for us, so it’s exciting that anywhere on the field we’ve got guys that can put one in.”
On Tuesday, the Comets scored two goals on set pieces and one on a penalty kick in a 3-1 victory over Dundalk.
O’Dell, who started on defense with Harris Linsenmeyer, Andre James and Mason Lober in front of goalie Brian Ruppel, scored on one of the set pieces against Dundalk.
“It’s great to have so many threats,” Kennedy said.
Dulaney’s best threats in the box came early in the game and right after the storm delay. Austin Dingle beat the defense with a sideline run in the first two minutes, but nobody was home on his cross.
Dingle also had a run that was followed by shots from Magnus Vaitekunus and Joe Pichney that were off the mark.
Ruppel made saves on two Dulaney opportunities after the storm that came with 31:06 left in the second half. One save came after a 35-yard shot from Brett Dickens with 24:15 remaining in the game.
Alex Shaw added another shot from 50 yards out that skipped off the wet turf and was saved by Ruppel.
“We would rather give them the long shot, don’t let them in and let them have that long shot, we’ll give it to them,” said Sirasky, who controlled the midfield for the Comets.
Dulaney’s LaHatte praised his team for getting some chances, but he wants to see more finishes.
“That’s something we’ve been talking about is chance creation and we are creating the chances and now the next step is the hardest thing to do in soccer, put the ball in the back of the net,” he said.
He was impressed by a pair of his defenders.
“We played solid defensively, our back two, Justin Samels and Colson Felt really did well to contain two really good players,” LaHatte said. “We are doing a lot of good things, we just didn’t get the payoff tonight.”
In the end, the Comets had too much firepower.
“Hats off to Catonsville, they played a great game, they were able to do what they wanted to do at times and they took their chances,” LaHatte said.
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Both teams are idle until Tuesday, Sept. 28, when Dulaney plays at Hereford and Catonsville is at Sparrows Point.