Dulaney's girls lacrosse team had to shake off a nerve-rattling start yesterday to beat Catonsville, 9-6, in a Baltimore County Division I game.
The No. 10 Lions fell behind 3-1 midway through the first half as the Comets' Erin Coberth worked a couple of isolation plays to perfection and Annie Davis scored on transition in between.
But rapid regrouping by the Lions (4-1, 2-0 in the division) and too many turnovers by the Comets (2-2, 1-1) quickly turned the momentum.
"Once they scored those [first] two goals, we sort of got shaken up," said Dulaney senior Marlena Wittelsberger, "and [coach Franz Wittelsberger] called a timeout and shook us back to reality -- this isn't an easy team and we shouldn't be just walking around."
Coberth's second goal came after the timeout, but that was the last Lions slip before Jessica George, Katherine Kozlakowski, Tracey Mullaney and Lauren Wittelsberger reeled off consecutive goals for a 5-3 halftime lead.
Possession proved a problem for the Comets, who gave up George's goal and Kozlakowski's within 15 seconds after back-to-back turnovers. Kozlakowski scooped in a loose ball to tie it at 3 with 12: 41 left in the half.
Turnovers continued to hurt the Comets, as did the Lions' ability to control 14 of 17 draws. Dulaney's edge in time of possession resulted in a 28-15 margin in shots.
"We weren't controlling the ball on offense," said Catonsville coach Charlie Brown. "We really like to settle it down a lot, but we didn't execute as much as we'd like. Dulaney's a really good team. I thought we played good team defense, but we let the momentum get away from us a little bit."
The Comets started off strong in the second half as Coberth struck again with the same move she used earlier -- coming around the left side, drawing the defender off the crease and rolling back around her. The goal pulled the Comets within 5-4, but it was the last time the Lions' defense would allow that move to Coberth, who finished with a game-high four goals.
"Once we caught on to the play, we brought another person in on defense as a double-team," said Lions midfielder Julia Hughey. "The key part was team defense and making sure that the other player, the one girl that the defender left, was marked all the time."
The Lions put the game out of reach with a 10-minute, 4-0 run to pull ahead 9-4 with 13: 24 left. Hughey scored two goals in the run, Lauren Wittelsberger added the last of her three goals and Marlena Wittelsberger netted the game-winner on a free-position for a 7-4 lead with 19: 18 left.
Defensively, the Lions were led by Kozlakowski, Sarah Cook, Erin Batton and goalie Laurie Needer, who finished with eight saves. Needer made several key stops, including one against Carrie Lowman's free-position at the end of the first half.