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Towson scored five unanswered goals in the third quarter and overcame a 3-2 deficit at Catonsville (2-5) on the way to an 8-4 victory in boys lacrosse action on Friday night.

Rory Bateman (three goals) led the Generals (6-2) and Mason Hickman, Rob Welling, Jack Carter, Leighton Bechdel and Grant Kuehn also scored.

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Catonsville’s scoring came from Brian Ruppel, Chris Huppman, Jack Maher and Evan Cunningham.

The Comets relied on a patient attack and strong work on faceoffs from T.J. Wess to gain the first-half lead.

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Wess won 5 of 7 faceoffs in the first half and 11 of 14 overall against Towson’s Mitch Boudreau and Matt Jahries.

Boudreau was coming off a game against Dulaney when he won 20 of 21 faceoffs in the Generals’ 11-6 victory on Wednesday night.

“T.J. Wess is a grinder and he busted his butt this offseason,” Catonsville coach K.R. Schultz said. “He knows what happened against Dulaney and we were talking to him about all these different ways to combat how good this other kid was and he was like, ‘Don’t underestimate me.’ ”

Towson opened the scoring on Bateman’s goal with a tick under nine minutes left in the first half.

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Freshman Ruppel tied the score with 1:06 left in the first quarter and neither team scored until Hickman tallied with 4:52 remaining in the first half.

The Comets deadlocked it at 2-all when freshman Chris Huppman scored with 3:10 left in the half and they gained the lead, 3-2, with 49 seconds remaining when freshman John Bolster assisted senior Jack Maher.

The Comets had a golden opportunity to extend the lead when Towson received a 2-minute penalty early in the third quarter, but Towson killed the penalty and goalie Wilson Turner (five saves) made three consecutive saves.

Killing the penalty without yielding a goal pleased Towson coach Shawn Burke.

“It’s funny, everybody talks about extra-man opportunities, but really, man down, you’ve got a chance to really swing momentum,” Burke said. “If you can get a stop on that, it deflates the other team a little bit and gives your team confidence and I thought it did that. From there, we got rolling a little bit and got to playing offense the way we like to play and did a much better job.”

Towson responded in the third quarter with goals from five different Generals.

Bateman attributed the strong third quarter to halftime words from a teammate and hard work.

“At halftime Max Burkett, one of the seniors, gave us a nice speech and got us all pumped up and basically we just went after everything, we went after the ground balls and that’s what changed it, Bateman said. “We kind of valued the ball a little more on offense, which we weren’t doing.”

Catonsville senior Cunningham broke the Generals 5-goal scoring run with a bounce shot from 15 yards out, making it 7-4 with 7:01 left in the fourth quarter.

The Comets had three more chances to cut into the lead, but two shots by Huppman and one by Ruppel didn’t find the mark.

After Huppman’s shot was deflected, Towson’s Carson Reed scooped up a key ground ball and the Comets didn’t get another shot in the final 5:30 against Towson’s defense of Reed, Jahries, Teagan Hersh and Ryan Tyler.

“They are a good team. I think we played well, but they did a really good job of possessing the ball in the third quarter and they took advantage of our mishaps,” Schultz said. “We are a blend of experienced guys and inexperienced guys and I think they all kind of work together really well. We’ve just got to clean up the stickwork.”

Schultz praised the defensive work of freshman James Azbill, senior captain Jack Lowe and juniors Gunner Cheuvront, Wyatt Gentner and Evan Rogers, in front of goalie Ian Callinan (six saves).

The coach also likes the chemistry of his squad.

“Our goal is to just get better every day,” Schultz said. “We have a really good group of seniors that bought in and we are a little young as well with the freshmen that get playing time.”

Meanwhile Towson coach Burke knew his team was in for a tight battle after the emotional win over Dulaney.

“I saw them play at Hereford last week and they led Hereford most of the first half, so we knew what we were getting into,” Burke said. “It’s tough playing your rival on a Wednesday and 48 hours later you’ve got to turn it around and not just playing anybody, but playing a really good team away.”

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