This time a week ago, Aiden Seibel was on the sidelines for McDonogh boys lacrosse’s team. Now, he’s arguably changing the trajectory for the No. 2 Eagles.
McDonogh defeated No. 4 St. Mary’s, 7-5, in a MIAA A Conference contest at Pascal Field in Annapolis. Matt Miller produced a hat trick for the Eagles, and sophomore attack Brendan Millon finished with 2 goals and an assist.
Siebel, a sophomore making his first start in goal Tuesday, stopped 13 shots to help the defending MIAA A champ Eagles rebound from last Friday’s 14-13 loss at Loyola Blakefield. He came off the bench Friday and had 5 second half saves as McDonogh rallied from a 9-goal second half deficit to tie in the fourth quarter before his stop in front of the goal was turned into a rebound score for the game-winner for the Dons.
The “big” moment Tuesday was not too much for Seibel, who made several doorstop rejections as McDonogh (10-1 overall, 4-1 MIAA A), ranked No. 7 in latest USA Lacrosse Magazine’s national rankings, rallied from a 3-2 halftime deficit.
“Aidan played the second half of the Loyola game, and I think he gave us a little spark,” said McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner. “He earned the right to start today, and he had a great game. He bailed us out.”
“I was kind of nervous, kind of excited,” explained Seibel. “But mostly I was just excited to be out here with my guys. I love these boys to death, and I wanted to get out there with them so bad.”
Seibel’s mates had his back. Senior faceoff Zach Hayashi won 11 of 14 at the “X.” The Eagles’ defensive unit, overwhelmed in the first half Friday, was engaged from the opening faceoff to the final whistle Tuesday evening.
“We decided we would give it one day. We’re not going to think about it,” said Brendan Millon of the Loyola loss. “At 6 p.m. Saturday, we moved on to today.”
Millon got McDonogh out of a 3-2 halftime deficit with back-to-back third quarter tallies. The Eagles advanced the lead to 6-3 on goals from Bogue Hahn, late in the third, and Miller early in the fourth.
St. Mary’s (9-3, 2-2 MIAA A), which lost to McDonogh in last year’s MIAA A final at nearby Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, rallied. Eric Chick converted off Teddy Androus’ faceoff win and Jacob Kucinski finished a pass from Gavin Burlace to bring the Saints within 6-5.
Seibel rebounded, stopping a couple of Saint shots. Miller capped his hat trick, breaking free from St. Mary’s 10-man ride for an open-net tally with 52.9 seconds left in regulation.
“St. Mary’s is awesome,” said Hilgartner, whose team won the MIAA A crown last spring as the No. 5 seed. “Defensively they’re really good and they have a ton of weapons on offense. So to come down here and get a win, we’re really fortunate.”
Kucinski finished with two goals for St. Mary’s, and Naval Academy-bound Nick Golini added a goal and an assist.
St. Mary’s coach Victor Lilly challenged his offensive unit.
“Defense played well enough to win the game. Our offense has to execute better. We were in position to put the ball in the back of the net and we failed to do that,” said Lilly, whose team has lost three of five after a 7-0 start. “That goes right on our starting attackmens’ shoulders.”
The Saints travel to Brooklandville Friday afternoon to take No. 6 St. Paul’s (3-2 MIAA A) in MIAA A action. McDonogh hosts fifth-ranked Calvert Hall (3-1 MIAA A) Friday.
“Our biggest focus is taking this one game at a time. Every game is our biggest game,” said Hayashi. “We’re just trying to win that Tuesday, and that Friday.”
NO. 2 MCDONOGH 7, NO. 4 ST. MARY’S 5
McDonogh 2 0 3 2 - 7
St. Mary’s 1 2 0 2 - 5
Goals: McDonogh - Miller 3, B. Millon 2, Hahn 2; St. Mary’s - Kucinski 2, Meushaw, Golini, Chick
Assists: McDonogh - Hahn, B. Millon; St. Mary’s - Burlace 2, Golini, Androus
Saves: McDonogh - Seibel 13; St. Mary’s - Kennedy 9