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IAAM championship: McDonogh School rallies past Roland Park, 16-13, to finish 5th straight perfect season, 6th straight title

Monday, 12th May 2014

Categories Girl's/Women's, High school  

By Tom Peace, Posted 5/12/14

McDonogh School used a 7-0 run to erase a 12-9 deficit and spark a 16-13 victory over a game Roland Park Sunday as the Eagles continued an incredible streak of five straight undefeated seasons and six consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships.

McDonogh School: IAAM A Conference champions

McDonogh School: IAAM A Conference champions

McDonogh, the No. 1 team in the Brine/TopLaxRecruits Rankings, closed at 21-0 and increased its national record (girls’ lacrosse) winning streak to 112 games.

But once again it was not easy. the Eagles found themselves trailing, 12-9, when the Reds (16-5) went on a shocking 6-0 run in the second half to seize the three-goal lead.

CeCe Finney (five goals) had three straight goals to make it 10-9, and goals by Anna Hauser (three goals) and Katie Clememts (two goals) then made it 12-9 with 12:23 to play.

But as they have done so many times during the streak, McDonogh got clutch performances. Suddenly, the momentum shifted as Kelsey Cummings scored on a free position shot with around 10 minutes left to stop the onslaught.

Then Brindi Griffin (four goals) and Elizabeth George (three goals, three assists) scored to tie it with 7:03 to play. Griffin then put her team ahead and Megan Whittle (three goals) made it 14-12 with 4:49 to play.

Whittle then fed Griffin and George broke to the cage and buried an exclamation point goal to make it 16-12 with 3:32 left.

“They got all the draw controls – it’s as simple as that – and they were getting groundballs so it shifted the momentum a little bit,” said Whittle. “But we got it into gear when we needed to.

“We got every groundball and started to get smart on attack and stopped hitting pipes. It shows our character that we didn’t give up on the groundballs.”

McDonogh coach Chris Robinson had nothing but praise for Roland Park, but said his team showed it was a true champion.

“Nobody has dominated us like that for time of possession and they made their shots count,” said Robinson. “They (the Reds) were playing unbelievable lacrosse.

“But lacrosse games are 50 minutes and we played dominating the last 12 minutes and outscored them 7-1. That’s about our depth and our conditioning and that we’ve been tested this year. Severn tested us a couple days ago (in the 13-12 semifinal victory) and we were tested earlier this season.

“I am so happy for these guys, that they showed intestinal fortitude. Their toughness was incredible.”

Robinson admitted that he was a little nervous when his eagles were down, 12-9. He said that Savannah Buchanan and Olivia Jenner were keys at the draw.

“Yeah, you are down three with 12 minuets to go,” he said. “But fortunately I think we were better rested than they were and we were able to put our best athletes out there at the end and say, ‘Here we go.’I think we were a bit fresher.

“Also, the Severn game gave us great preparation since we were down two with six minutes to go.”

Finney – a senior headed to Florida – said her team played its best lacrosse, but was unable to stay as aggressive when McDonogh made its move.

“It’s hard coming in and facing a team this good,” she said. “I think we gave it our all and put it all out there. We played like we had nothing to lose.

“We went out there and got draws, but as soon as we made a mistake, they took advantage. Our defenders started retreating and playing it safe instead of going for the ball.

“But I feel pretty pumped about the year. We are really happy for next year and years after. We have set the tone.”

McDonogh 16, Roland Park 13

McDonogh 8-8- 16
Roland Park 5-8- 13

McDonogh School
Brindi Griffin 4g
Elizabeth George 3g, 3a
Megan Whittle 3g
Olivia Jenner 3g
Kelsey Cummings 1g
Andie Aldave 1g
Savannah Buchanan 1g
Jena Ansell 9 saves

Roland Park
CeCe Finney 5g
Anna Hauser 3g
Francesca Whitehurst 3g, 1a
Katie Clements 2g
Riley Brager 9 saves

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