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Sparrows Point girls soccer beats Catonsville for Baltimore County title

A minute never passed when Sparrows Point junior forward Jamie Shiflett didn't firmly believe her team would win the Baltimore County girls soccer championship against defending champion Catonsville on Wednesday.

There were plenty of times when it could have — both before she scored late in the first half and afterward — as the Comets came with relentless pressure. But Shiflett never wavered and neither did the Pointers' defense at Franklin High School.

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Shiflett's header off a corner kick from Kasie Lambert came with 3:40 to play in the first half and No. 8 Sparrows Point maintained the advantage with a valiant defensive stand to come away with a 1-0 win over No. 12 Catonsville. After claiming the program's first Class 1A state championship last season, Sparrows Point (12-1) can now stake claim to their first county championship.

Shiflett has grown familiar with scoring big goals against Catonsville. She provided the game-winner in a 3-1 win against Catonsville during the regular season — the first time any of the current players on the Sparrows Point roster had ever beaten the Comets.

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Was there any doubt the Pointers would not make it two in a row against Catonsville?

"Nope," Shiflett said. "We knew when we beat them in the regular season that they wanted to come out and beat us this game. But we knew that we had to come out strong and we'd have them. It feels so good."

In 80 minutes of play, the Comets (9-2-3) had a decided advantage in territory and chances, but couldn't score. All-Metro forward Jennifer Nonn had one of her countless shots hit off the far post. Renee Gast had a shot alertly cleared off the goal line from Sparrows Point defender Barb Foster.

A close offsides penalty called back a potential tying goal and the Comets had one sequence midway through the second half when the ball was everywhere inside the Pointers' penalty area but never in the net.

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Sparrows Point goalie Maddie Anthony (eight saves) and defenders Foster, Lindsea Webb, Hailey Bowen and Alyssa Rasmussen were strong throughout.

Sparrows Point coach Joe Lambert believed the positive result was something that was meant to be.

"Especially once we got into the game and all the opportunities that Catonsville had," he said. "The girls just selling out on the back line — throwing their bodies in front of the ball and Maddie coming up huge with some great saves. I kind of felt it was going to be our night after all that stuff happened."

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