Jennifer Nonn extra motivated this season for Catonsville girls soccer

Nonn's banner junior year ended just short of state title

September 11, 2014|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

A four-year starter, Catonsville's All-Metro first-team forward Jennifer Nonn enjoyed a banner junior season with the exception of one thing — it's end.

She scored 21 goals and added 10 assists to help lead the No. 5 Comets to their first Class 4A state title game, but they fell to Whitman, 2-0.

For Nonn, it was tough to take then, but motivating now. The Comets have a number of players back to make another run under first-year coach Gary Lynch, who took over for longtime coach James Fitzpatrick.

Nonn will once again be the team's primary scoring threat. A three-sport athlete who also plays lacrosse and basketball, Nonn wants to make the most of her senior soccer season.

She has a 3.5 GPA and has committed to play lacrosse at Virginia Commonwealth next year. Her older sister, Jessica, also was a three-sport star at Catonsville and older brother, Nick, was a runner at the school.

How can last year's state title game run help the team this season?

I think it definitely motivates us because I feel that everyone is [upset] about losing in the state finals, so we're going to come out and want it more than ever since we've been there and know what it feels like. I definitely think this team is just as good if not better than last year. Our new coach is really good, we're practicing really well ... and coming off pretty strong.

What's the key to consistently scoring goals?

Sometimes it's just luck, being at the right place at the right time and being able to finish it.  But you have to know your team, know [where you're at on] the field and be aware of what's going on around you.

Do you feel any different, this being your senior season?

Definitely. Last year, the feeling of being at states and losing sucked. So, all we did was say "OK we have next year." But I can't say that this year. It's my last chance, so I'm definitely going to give it my all.

What makes a strong leader?

I definitely think it's someone that makes a difference on and off the field, someone that starts things to get the team closer. On the field, you can hear their voice. They pump the team up and they're there for you if you make a bad pass or something. They keep you positive.

What impressed you about VCU?

I got a really good opportunity. It's a new program, so that was something that was really interesting to me. I love the coach [Jen Kasper O'Brien] — she's one of the nicest people I've ever met. When I went down to visit the school I thought it was really nice. I just liked it from the beginning.

How comforting is it having your college decision made?

It's a big weight off me. Even though I'm committed to a college, I'm still going to take my high school seasons really seriously, though. 

Which is your favorite sport?

I ask myself that all the time and it really is hard because I love soccer so much. But, at the same time, lacrosse is right there, too. I guess I've always favored soccer a little more because it's more physical.

What are the benefits of being a three-sport athlete?

I think you can benefit a lot from it. There's always something you can take from each sport. To be athletic and be able to play the different sports helps you do more stuff with your skills.

What was it like having a successful older sister to follow at Catonsville?

It's really helpful because you have someone to look up to. It's a good thing and a bad thing because there's always the comparisons. But it pushes you to be better. It's a good competition. I grew up watching her play ... So, I'm not sure I would be the player I am now without her.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

twitter.com/GlennGrahamSun

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