Catonsville beats Towson, 2-1
Rehder’s goal with 1:48 left gives No. 10 Comets 2nd straight county crown
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.