By Tom Peace
BaltimoreLacrosseNews.com, Posted 5/13/12
Taylor Cummings scored the game-winner with 9.8 seconds to play as McDonogh School staved off a spirited effort from Maryvale Prep today, defeating the Lions, 12-11, to claim its fourth straight IAAM Conference A championship at Stevenson University.
The Eagles finished the year at a perfect 18-0 – their third straight undefeated season – and have won 69 straight games. They are sure to be named the top team in the nation in all major polls; they have remained No. 1 all year.
Cummings, the Eagles senior leader, dodged her way toward the cage and forced a shot passed Maryvale netminder Caroline Federico (seven saves) for the go-ahead score. The goal came after the Lions (13-4) rallied to tie the game in the final minutes.
“Coach (Chris) Robinson made a good call to set up our final shot so we held it for awhile and then we ran a play and there was 12 seconds left so I knew I had to go to goal,” said Cummings. “Luckily I got it past her (Federico); I was surprised it went in to be honest.”
In front of a boisterous crowd, Maryvale Prep refused to go away and got goals from Miranda Ibello and Sam Darcangelo in a span of three minutes late in the contest to tie it, 11-11.
Maryvale – which had upset Bryn Mawr in the semifinals, 9-7 – kept the game close throughout with a mixture of tough defense, crisp passes, and superb goaltending. No team had come within closer than seven goals of McDonogh all year.
Maryvale Prep had kry contributions from Darcangelo, Ibello, and senior attacker Samantha Aiello, who each scored twice and helped them take a rare first-half lead vs. the Eagles.
“We just wanted to play the first 25 minutes and then worry about the second 25 minutes and they did,” said Maryvale head coach Jessica Randisi. “They played a full 50 minutes of lacrosse and you can’t ask for much more.”
Robinson credited Maryvale Prep for preventing any major McDonogh runs.
“They were so tough, they took care of the ball really well, and Caroline Federico was just phenomenal,” he said. “That was the toughest goalkeeper we have faced all year.”
Afterwards, Robinson admitted he was a little worried how his team would respond with a close contest in the second half.
“We haven’t been in that situation; we have always had a comfortable lead in the second half,” he said. “And to be pressured down the stretch, I feel I can coach (the situation), but how we are going to react to it…”
But the seniors for the Eagles stepped up big. Corinne Etchison had six goals and Cummings added four.
“This is the last time we will play with each other and they are going to be great next year and it’s time to move on,” said Etchison. “I will miss this program and I will miss coach Robinson; we are all a big family and that is what I’m going to miss the most.”
McDonogh 12, Maryvale Prep 11