McDonogh’s No. 3 girls lacrosse team didn’t show many weaknesses in Thursday’s 13-7 win over No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, but midfielder Amanda Lawson said the Eagles hadn’t put together a complete game until then.
The Eagles won most of the draws, held Spalding’s top two attack threats to a goal each and showed patience on attack as they dealt the Cavaliers their first loss to improve to 5-0 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
“We’ve won a few games, but, like our coach (Taylor Cummings) said, it didn’t really feel like a win based on our performance … and how we felt we played,” Lawson said, “but I feel like this is the first game we showed up as a new team showing everyone what we can do. Half these girls haven’t played before on this team and we’re just really showing that this is a new team, but it’s a new McDonogh team. We have that passion and that fire in our belly.”
The Eagles (6-1 overall) beat No. 4 Maryvale by one goal and lost to Georgetown Visitation by one goal, but they got off to a good start against the Cavaliers (4-1, 3-1) despite a tough early stand from goalie Colleen Berardino, who finished with 10 save.
She stopped McDonogh’s first two shots before Makena London took a pass from Ayiana Rippen and slipped the first of her four goals by the senior keeper about five minutes into the game.
The Cavaliers missed their first two shots, including one called back for a crease violation, before Maddie Wrenn tied the game less than three minutes later.
After that, McDonogh dominated the rest of the half and outshot the Cavaliers, 11-5, stringing together a pair of three-goal runs.
Sophie Trahan, Payton Magday and London pushed the lead to 4-1 with 9 minutes, 45 seconds left.
Ava Grant got one back for the Cavaliers and then Ally Keith appeared to score, but the official waved it off because the whistle blew before the shot. She gave Keith a free-position shot instead, but Eagles freshman goalie Reagan O’Donovan saved it.
In the final 3:19 of the half, Lawson scored and London added two goals to push the lead to 7-2.
“They play really well as a team and they communicate well and move the ball fast,” Berardino said. “They came to play and we really wanted to beat them. We were passionate about it, but I think they were just moving the ball really well.”
Spalding’s Lily Mullen opened the second half with a goal, but facing several different defenses, the Eagles matched every Cavaliers goal. They put the game away with another three-goal run — from Levy, Remi Schaller and Trahan — in the final 2:47.
“We had a really good start, scoring a lot of goals in the beginning which kind of gave us momentum,” said junior midfielder Schaller, who scored four goals. “We’ve been practicing against man, zone, a backer, so we were prepared for it, I’d like to think. They gave us all of it, but we were moving the ball really well.”
The Eagles won 13 of 21 draws in the game as Lawson and Pearre combined to win 10. Defensively, Kit Laake, McKenzie Brown, Codi Johnson and Paige Pearre led a stingy unit that stifled a Cavaliers offense that had been averaging 14 goals. O’Donovan finished with eight saves.
“They have two really good drivers,” Laake said of Spalding’s Gabby Greene and Maeve Cavanaugh, “and we decided to mark up on them and it worked because they only scored one goal (each). We worked together to make sure if they were driving to slide or know whether we had to stay on them.”
Seven different Cavaliers scored, but sophomore midfielder Cavanaugh, who also had an assist, was the only one with two points. Spalding created scoring opportunities but they turned the ball over inside a couple times early, hit a couple pipes and lost two goals to fouls.
Cavaliers coach Tara Shea said her team just didn’t take advantage of its opportunities the way the Eagles did.
“The biggest thing is we really need to dig in and fight and grind it out, because again, we got ourselves in a little bit of a hole and every chance we had to dig out, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot,” she said.
With the victory, the Eagles are one of three teams remaining unbeaten in the A Conference along with No. 1 and two-time defending champion St. Paul’s (8-0, 5-0) and No. 7 Glenelg Country School (5-0). Spalding and No. 10 Notre Dame Prep have one loss each while No. 4 Maryvale is 4-2 with one-goal losses to St. Paul’s and McDonogh.
The Eagles and the Cavaliers both host St. Paul’s next week, the Cavaliers on Tuesday and the Eagles on Thursday.
NO. 3 MCDONOGH 13, NO. 2 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 7
McDonogh 7 6 — 13
Spalding 2 5 — 7
GOALS: M—Remi Schaller 4, Makena London 4,, Sophia Trahan 2, Payton Magday, Amanda Lawson, Kate Levy; S—Maddie Wrenn, Ava Grant, Lily Mullen, Amanda Gazelle, Gabby Green, Colleen Mullen, Maeve Cavanaugh.
ASSISTS: M—Kate Levy 2, Amanda Lawson, Reed Pinkin, Ayiana Rippin; S—Carly Ross, Maeve Cavanaugh.
SAVES: M—Reagan O’Donovan 8; S—Colleen Berardino 10.