Ca­tonsville beats Tow­son, 2-1

Re­hder’s goal with 1:48 left gives No. 10 Comets 2nd straight county crown

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Craig Clary

Ca­tonsville se­nior Matt Re­hder kept his hands up for an as­sist on the first goal of the Bal­ti­more County boys soc­cer cham­pi­onship game and his head down when he scored the game-win­ning goal with 1:48 left in reg­u­la­tion to lift the No. 10 Comets to a 2-1 vic­tory over No. 9 Tow­son at Franklin High on Wed­nes­day.

Re­hder’s game-win­ner came on a corner kick by class­mate Drew Mey­ers.

“No one was cov­er­ing the back post, and in prac­tice we have been prac­tic­ing our runs, and so I just went to that spot and hoped for the ball to come there,” Re­hder said. “We’ve also been prac­tic­ing keep­ing the ball down, so I just looked at it, kept my head down and put it in the back of the net.”

It was the sec­ond straight county crown for the Comets (10-2-2), who de­feated Perry Hall, 1-0, last year. They lost the ti­tle game, 1-0, to Du­laney in 2014.

Ca­tonsville coach Chris Hast­ings was glad to see Re­hder take his advice.

“He fi­nally lis­tened to me af­ter three years and took a great an­gle at the ball, which al­lowed for a great shot on goal and he headed it down and he ended the game,” Hast­ings said.

Re­hder’s throw-in with 35:17 left in the sec­ond half as­sisted Wy­att Ah­ern for the first goal of the night. Ah­ern’s first ca­reer goal came af­ter he missed a scor­ing Ca­tonsville’s Matt Re­hder, right, cel­e­brates his win­ning goal with team­mates Jor­dan Llorin (15) and David Owens. Re­hder as­sisted on the Comets’ first goal. op­por­tu­nity.

“He tripped over the ball and his trip led to a throw-in, and he heads it near post, which helped us tremen­dously,” Hast­ings said.

The early sec­ond-half lead didn’t last long be­cause Thomas Lewis scored from 30 yards out less than a minute later to tie the game for the Gen­er­als (11-2-2).

“I think that might be the first time this sea­son that we’ve an­swered a goal that quickly,” Tow­son coach Jon Becker said. “That was about as nice of a goal, buildup and fin­ish that we have scored all sea­son. It was a great re­sponse.”

Becker was the as­sis­tant coach at the start of the sea­son but took over the team when head coach Randy Dase took med­i­cal leave be­cause of prostate cancer.

Dase was on the side­line to cheer on his team and Becker, who played at Tow­son from 2006 through 2009 and was a cen­tral mid­fielder for the 2009 re­gional cham­pi­onship team.

“They were phe­nom­e­nal,” Dase said. “I’m so proud of him [Becker] be­cause he is an ex-Gen­eral.”

The first half was a de­fen­sive strug­gle, sim­i­lar to the game played Sept. 14, when the Comets and Gen­er­als played to a 0-0 over­time tie af­ter 100 min­utes.

Ca­tonsville had sev­eral throw-ins in the Tow­son zone, but de­fend­ers Adam Co­plai, James Thorne, Jack Baker and Brooks Ben­nassi were there to re­pel them.

Ben­nassi’s hus­tle stood out on a play in which he dived near the side­line to keep a ball in play and cleared it. Austin Kirts was also a con­stant threat in the mid­field.

Con­fi­dent in the de­fense of Liam Llorin, Jor­dan Llorin, Re­hder and Dave Owens, the Comets pressed for­ward early in the sec­ond half and it paid off on Re­hder’s throw to Ah­ern.

“I saw Wy­att mak­ing the run across and that’s how we score a lot, from peo­ple run­ning across and flicks on, so I al­ways aim for some­one there to hit and he put it in the back,” Re­hder said.

“We got real ex­cited af­ter we scored that goal and dropped our pres­sure a lit­tle bit,” Hast­ings said.

Af­ter Lewis scored for Tow­son, the Comets at­tack picked up the in­ten­sity, thanks to strong mid­field play from Macken­zie Ali, Jaylen Clark, Dale Bor­ing and Mey­ers, and key ball con­trol from for­ward Luke Palmisano.

The top-seeded Comets will host the win­ner of Edge­wood’s game with Aberdeen on Tues­day in the Sec­tion I Class 4A North Re­gion af­ter a first-round bye.

BRIAN KRISTA/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

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