In a wild game of one-upmanship between Perry Hall and No. 8 Catonsville yesterday, scoring goals came easily. Making a lead stick, however, proved more difficult.
The Comets answered Perry Hall's first goal within 10 seconds. The Gators matched Catonsville's second goal within 26 seconds. The Comets answered the Gators' third goal within 2: 27.
In a game that was tied for all but 15 minutes, Kristine Barton gave the Gators a 4-3 lead with 11: 52 left and the Comets could not respond. Kathy Baran added an insurance goal with eight minutes to go as the host Gators upset Catonsville, 5-3, in a Baltimore County Heron Division game.
The loss drops the Comets (7-1) to 4-1 in the division, while the Gators (4-2-1) move to 4-1-1. In what appears to be a four-team division race, the Gators have played Dulaney (2-1 overtime loss) and No. 10 Hereford (2-2 tie), and the Comets face both next week.
Yesterday, offensive fireworks kept the game rolling at a furious pace.
"I thought it would be overtime," said Kathy Baran, who led the Gators with two goals and an assist. "But when we got the fourth goal, I knew we could win it. We had so much energy."
Barton's goal capped a four-on-one break, coming on a perfect feed from Lori Baran, who carried the ball down the right side and in to Comets goalie Katie Kirby.
The senior right wing said she had planned to dodge Kirby and take the shot herself, "but the ball hit a bump and knocked over my stick, so I decided to do a spin dodge around [Kirby] and hit it around her. Kristine's supposed to be on the post, and she was and she hit it in."
After the goal, the Comets tried to retaliate on a penalty corner, but Gators goalie Jill Baran, the third Baran sister, saved one shot and the Gators' defense stopped another to hold onto their lead.
Kathy Baran gave the Gators the first two-goal lead of the game, 5-3, scoring on another breakaway. Erin Zimmerman carried the ball down the left side and passed perfectly to the front of the cage, where Kathy Baran controlled the ball and shot.
The Gators' last goal seemed to deflate the Comets, who struggled defensively most of the game.
"I couldn't point to a lot of things we did drastically wrong," said Comets coach Kathy Schuyler.
The Comets, who got goals from Sarah Starsoneck, Kirsten Brown and Andrea Denton, led only once, 2-1, on Brown's goal to open the second half.
"This gave us a wake-up call," said Comets link Erin Coberth. "After beating Westminster, winning the [Leonardtown] Invitational and doing so well recently, we've been on cloud nine. This shows us we better hustle and work hard or it's not going to happen."
Pub Date: 9/29/99