Girls’ video

Boys’ video

Photos

The road to this fall’s Baltimore County soccer championship appears headed through Catonsville. The Comet boys’ and girls’ defeated Perry Hall in a doubleheader on Bloomingdale Avenue Monday evening.

In the girls’ match, No. 8 Catonsville received goals from Deb Milani and Jenn Nonn in a 2-0 decision. Last season, Perry Hall defeated the Comets three times including the county finals at Franklin (3-0) and a 2-0 decision in the Class 4A North Region finals.

“Even though it doesn’t count, it’s about pride,” said Milani, whose team improved to 6-0 overall. “We’re trying to go undefeated.”

Milani, who’s committed to the University of Maryland for lacrosse, sent a through ball to Nonn, who put a shot past Gators’ goalie Emily Shandruk in the 16th minute. In the 69th minute, Nonn took a shot that hit low off the right post past a diving Shandruk, but Milani was there to knock the ball back in.

Sophomore goalie Natalie Croom stopped five shots with juniors Katie Viets and Anna Higdon, sophomore Renee Gast and freshman Lauren Vogelpohl providing help in the back. The Comets have yet to allow a goal in county play.

“We knew they were up-and-coming last year, and we had a veteran team,” said Perry Hall coach Rick Testerman, whose team fell to 3-2-1. “We’re a little bit young this year. We were in the game, but they [Catonsville] pretty much dominated.”

Perry Hall boys’ owned Catonsville before the Comets broke through en route to their first county championship in more than a half century last fall. The pendelum continue to swing in favor of the No. 11 Comets, who claimed a 2-1 victory over the 12th rankd Gators

The reigning league champs got goals from Jose Moran and Daniel Kim before their defense clamped down on Perry Hall (4-2-1) in the final minutes. Catonsville senior goalie Kevin Sheppard said the Comets are brimming with confidence.

“We expect to win,” said Sheppard. “We don’t have as much skill and talent as all these teams, but I think as hard we play and aggressive as we are, it’s tough to beat.”

Moran, the Comets’ best player, sent a direct kick 25 yards past Perry Hall junior goalie Austin Kroll into the right corner in the ninth minute. Moran later injured his ankle after getting tripped up on a breakaway opportunity in the 35th minute and didn’t return.

The Comets advanced the lead to 2-0 as Kim converted a penalty shot in the 48th minute, after Emmanuel Amihere was fouled by Perry Hall back Jason Stump in the box. The Gators had to play a man down the final 20 minutes after Rob Allman received a second yellow card.

Perry Hall (4-2-1), looking to regain the county crown after back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2009, closed to 2-1 on a goal by Nicky Jones in the 70th minute. Gators coach Pete Eibner commended his team’s effort.

“We want to compete with the best teams. We brought everything we could,” said Eibner, whose team reached the Class 4A state semifinals last fall. “We just didn’t finish opportunities.”

A big reason was the Catonsville backfield of Andrew Carlson, William Johnson and Osama Khan in front of Sheppard (four saves). Comets coach Vic Vega said his team has to continue to build off Monday’s performance.

dillon hannah and justin ornelas“It gives the kids confidence that we can compete against the best teams in the area,” said Vega, whose team’s lone loss is a 1-0 decision against MIAA A power Mount St. Joseph. “Now, we have to put this past us and take care of the schedule. We can’t lay an egg the next two games.”

No. 11 Catonsville boys’ 2, No. 12 Perry Hall 1

Goals: Perry Hall – Jones; Catonsville – Moran, Kim

Saves: Perry Hall – Kroll 9; Catonsville – Shepperd 4

Halftime: Catonsville 1, Perry Hall 0

No. 8 Catonsville girls’ 2, Perry Hall 0

Goals: Catonsville – Nonn, Milani

Assists: Catonsville – Milani

Saves: Perry Hall – Shandruk 10; Catonsville – Croom 5

Halftime: Catonsville 1, Perry Hall 0