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Catonsville girls lacrosse holds off Towson

Trailing 5-4 with under 10 seconds left in the first half, Catonsville scored three goals in 59 seconds to take a two-goal advantage on Towson and the visiting Generals (1-1) never pulled even and the Comets held on for an 11-9 victory in girls lacrosse on Tuesday evening.

The momentum change started with a miraculous effort by the Comets in the final 10 seconds of the half.

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On a restart, Catonsville’s Savannah Beaver threw a diagonal pass from 35 yards out across the field to Sophi Wrisk.

Wrisk raced upfield and sent a high pass for Kolby Weedon, who was cutting across the crease.

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Going away from the goal, Weedon went airborne and caught the pass, and in one motion took a shot that sailed wide as the buzzer sounded.

Weedon was fouled on the play and she got an un-timed free-position shot which she converted to tie the game at 5-5.

In the second half, Wrisk picked up the ground ball off Leah Marshall’s opening draw and scored 10 seconds later for a 6-5 lead.

Marshall won the ensuing draw herself and scored with 24:01 left in the second half for a 7-5 lead.

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Riley Hartman scored for Towson to make it 7-6, but goals by Marshall, Weedon and Wrisk extended the lead to 10-6 and the Generals never got closer than two goals the rest of the way.

Catonsville coach Cantey Bailey knew the two plays by Weedon changed the game.

“If that [first] one had gone in, I don’t know what was more of a momentum swing,” Bailey said. “She was like, ‘I didn’t even know what I was doing and we were like, we know,’”

Sophomores Weedon and Wrisk, who finished with four goals each, will continue their lacrosse careers in three years at the University of Maryland.

Marshall added three goals for the Comets and Rory Black had an assist.

“We knew what we needed to do, we knew we couldn’t come out sloppy, especially because it was a new game, 5-5, so we stepped up and played our game and played our hardest,” said Marshall, who will play at Iona University next season.

Towson had built a 5-2 advantage in the first half, thanks to strong play on draws by freshman Natalie Sann and pinpoint shooting.

The Generals were led by Hartman (three goals), Anna Corona and Abby Osmeyer (two goals each).

Sophia Grose (one goal, one assist) and Erin Steinberg (one goal) also scored for the Generals, who had opened the season with a 12-6 victory over Patterson Mill.

“It was the shooting, I don’t know what the numbers say, but in the first half we were shooting to score and in the second half we were shooting to shoot,” Towson coach Jamie Giffuni said. “That definitely made a difference in the second half.”

Catonsville was coming off a 14-10 loss to Manchester Valley the day before and they learned from that defeat.

“After yesterday’s game we were focusing on certain things, the draws and the 50-50 balls, making those at least 50-50, but fighting for everything, and I think we did that today,”Bailey said. “Everyone stepped up, there wasn’t one person that didn’t help control something.”

Catonsville’s defense, that included juniors Abbi Boehl, Amber Stephen and Emma Meacham, got progressively stronger as the game progressed.

Goalie Amber Weedon had four of her six saves in the second half, with the two biggest coming 30 seconds apart and the Comets clinging to an 8-6 lead.

The first was a free-position shot with 13:50 left in the second half by Corona and the second came after a free position from Hartman.

With 12:04 left, Black assisted Kolby Weedon, and with 10:46 left, Wrisk pushed the lead to 10-6.

Towson responded with two goals by Corona. The second one, assisted by Sann, cut the deficit to 10-8 with 5:42 remaining.

Marshall won the crucial next draw and scored with 4:25 left for an 11-8 lead.

She won the ensuing draw and the Comets milked the clock down to 1:45 before the Generals crossed midfield.

With 1:26 remaining, Grose assisted Hartman and the Generals trailed 11-9.

Towson won the next draw and had two more free-positon shots with a chance to cut the lead to one.

Marshall deflected the first shot and corralled the ground ball and Boehl’s check stopped the second and the Comets held on.

“I feel pretty good. It was a nice game and I thought I played as hard as I could and that’s all that I can ask for,” Marshall said.

Bailey praised the way the Comets played in the second half, similar to how they rallied the night before against Manchester Valley.

“It was more being aggressive and being smart with our play,” Bailey said. “Especially in the first half of the first half, we were making plays and weren’t thinking, so it was settling down and making that smart play, instead of forcing it to something that we don’t need.”

Although attackers Bella Dunigan, Molly Buettner and Zoe Waddell didn’t score, they kept scoring midfielders Wrisk, Marshall and Weedon involved and that caught the attention of Towson coach Giffuni.

“They really feed the ball well,” Giffuni said. “It’s every person contributing on attack. They always have a great team. They fought really hard today and they were shooting to score.”

Despite the loss, Giffuni sees a new attitude in her squad, after last year, when they hovered around .500 and and were eliminated by Hereford, 21-4, in the regional playoffs.

“This team definitely has a bad taste in their mouth at how last season went and they are out to redeem themselves a little bit this year,” Giffuni said. “They weren’t really pleased with a lot of things from last year and they put in a lot of work to do better for themselves this year.”

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