Cunniff leads Catonsville to upset of No. 15 Dulaney

Sophomore's four goals, one assist key 12-4 win

Girls lacrosse

March 26, 2002|By Sam Atkinson | Sam Atkinson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A young and unproven Catonsville girls lacrosse team marched into Dulaney's stadium yesterday and dominated the No. 15 Lions for the entire game en route to a 12-4 upset victory.

The Comets (1-1) built a 4-2 halftime lead and accelerated in the second half to outscore the Lions (1-1-1) 8-2 to secure their first win of the season.

"I am so excited about the way we played. The kids worked so hard for this today," said Catonsville second-year head coach Jill Altshuler. "We really stepped it up in the second half."

Sophomore Calire Cunniff led the Comets with four goals and one assist, followed by junior Becky Clipp's three goals. Freshmen Sandy Wasserbach and Jennifer Bach scored a pair each.

For Catonsville, its victory over Dulaney has been a three-year work in progress.

"We have come up short the last two years against them -- last year in overtime and the previous year by three goals. So we have been getting closer and closer," said Clipp. "This is a great win for us."

The Comets led from the get-go as Clipp scored the game's first goal, beating Dulaney goalie Livvy King (11 saves) on her offside hip. The Lions answered minutes later as senior Allie Benson followed her shot and threw in her rebound to knot the game at one.

Catonsville scored the next two goals to take the lead for good before the Lions scored with 5:17 remaining in the half.

Comets goalie Claire Castle (7 saves) was working on a clear and carelessly threw the ball into the backside of the net only to watch Dulaney's Katie Leland scoop up the ball and score on an empty net. Leland led the Lions' offense with two goals and an assist.

Cunniff scored her second goal of the game off a free-position shot to give the Comets the two-goal halftime advantage.

Dulaney struggled at the draws and had problems getting the ball into the offensive end of the field as the Comets dominated time of possession.

"They outplayed us. We couldn't catch or pass today. They are an excellent team," said Dulaney head coach Tina Wasowicz.

The Comets continued to speed past the Lions' defense to start the second half as they scored two goals within 10 seconds of each other.

Dulaney's woes continued as it tried to clear the ball around the midfield line only to have Tricia O'Connell check the ball free.

Catonsville's Cunniff scooped it up, passed it downfield to Clipp, who found Bach on the doorstep for the goal.

The Comets capitalized again four minutes later off another Dulaney clearing mistake. Claire Dennis picked off King's clear and passed it over to Wasserbach for the goal. Cunniff scored her fourth goal 22 seconds later.

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