Since at least 2009, no lacrosse team has beaten McDonogh as many as two times, with the notable exception of the St. Paul’s School for Girls.

After all, the Eagles famously won 198-games in a row during that span until Notre Dame Prep knocked them off in the 2018 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game.

Over the past two seasons, though, the Gators have reeled off four straight wins over the Eagles while also claiming a pair of A Conference crowns.

On a wonderfully warm Thursday afternoon in Owings Mills, No. 2 McDonogh exacted a measure of revenge by edging top-ranked St. Paul’s, 10-9, while joining Glenelg Country School as the only unbeaten teams in A Conference play.

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It took a big effort from the Eagles, whose decisive 5-0 run in the second half turned a 7-5 deficit into a 10-7 advantage with just over 12 minutes left in regulation.

McDonogh junior attacker Sophia Trahan scored the first three goals of the splurge on assists from junior midfielders Katy Levy and Amanda Lawson and freshman defender Kit Laake.

Players from No. 2 McDonogh and top-ranked St. Paul's School for Girls shake hands after the Eagles upended the two time defending IAAM A champs, 10-9, on Thursday. (Nelson Coffin)

Senior attacker Makena London finished off the run with a pair of goals, the first of which was assisted by Levy, who had a remarkable game in her own right on the circle.

The junior North Carolina transfer was a big part of a midfield group — including Lawson, junior Remi Schaller, sophomore Payton Magday and freshman Ayiana Rippin — which won 13 of 21 draws against an accomplished St. Paul’s unit led by senior Anna Regan and junior Kira Balis.

”All of our circle players work hard to win the draw,” Levy said. “(Beating St. Paul’s) just means so much to us. It’s something we’ve been working for all season.”

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”Kate did an amazing job at the center for us,” McDonogh coach Taylor Cummings said. “Not only did she place it well, she communicated well with her circle players and put them in a position to fight for ground balls. The draw is that ‘heart’ stat. It’s all guts and four or five seconds of focus, and they did a great job today of battling. Even when we didn’t get it our way, there were very few clean St. Paul’s draws — which was a goal of ours.”

McDonogh (8-1, 7-0 league) had a 5-3 lead late in the first half until St. Paul’s veterans Natalie Shurtleff and Frannie Hahn scored in the final 90 seconds to deadlock the score at the intermission.

The Gators (9-1, 6-1) were just as effective to begin the second period, with sophomore Marleigh O’Day converting a Regan feed before Regan found the net on assist by Lauren Steer to give St. Paul’s a 7-5 cushion at the 21:49 mark of the final half.

Trahan took from there, starting the rally that built a three-goal advantage with help from her friends midway through the half.

St. Paul’s crept to within a goal on senior attacker Karina Herrera’s lefty drive and Steer’s free position before winning the ensuing draw.

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However, McDonogh’s ride and a tight seven-on-seven defensive set against the Gators’ offense prevented a shot on goal and gave possession back to the Eagles with under four minutes remaining in the game.

St. Paul’s never recovered as the Eagles held on to snap their rare skid.”Our defensive unit all day did a great job,” Cummings said. “They have numerous threats from behind and up top. It’s not one person playing defense, it’s seven of us plus our goalie. To hold a really talented offense like St. Paul’s to nine goals is a testament to the work that all of our defenders and middies put in, a testament to Reagan (O’Donovan) in the cage and a testament to defensive coordinator Megan Huether preparing them well today.”

St. Paul’s coach Mary Gagnon was gracious in defeat.

”They’re a great team and coached by a great coach,” she said. “We’ve had them the last couple of years, so it’s no surprise that they would be up for us. Give credit to McDonogh right now. They had a great game plan and they were prepared for us. We didn’t respond in the critical moments — and that’s on us.”


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SPSG 5 4 — 9

McD 5 5 — 10

Goals: SPSG-Natalie Shurtleff 2, Marleigh O’Day 2, Frannie Hahn 1, Caroline Hoskins 1, Anna Regan 1, Karina Herrara 1, Lauren Steer 1; McD-Sophia Trahan 3, Payton Magday 2, Makena London 2, Amanda Lawson 2, Kate Levy 1.

Assists: SPSG-Frannie Hahn 1, Maggie Porter 1, Anna Regan 1, Lauren Steer 1; McD-Kate Levy 2, Amanda Lawson 1, Kit Laake 1.

Saves-SPSG-Susan Radebaugh 6; Reagan O’Donovan 6.

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