Pep talk sparks McDonogh's romp over Severn

March 25, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

At their best, the No. 5-ranked McDonogh Eagles can play with any team in the area. Sometimes, however, even the best need a little push.

Such was the case in yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game against No. 9 Severn. Clinging to a two-goal lead at halftime and looking a bit sluggish, the Eagles got some words of encouragement from coach Jake Reed.

The response was dramatic, as host McDonogh scored eight of the first nine goals in the second half, turning a nail-biter into a 14-6 rout. To Severn coach Charlie Toomey, the transformation was staggering.

"I told our guys that they [the Eagles] must have had the best halftime talk ever in the history of lacrosse," said Toomey. "They came out and they were a different team."

After laboring through the second quarter, the Eagles (3-1 overall, 1-1 in the conference) came out rejuvenated, winning ground balls, clamping down on defense and outshooting the Admirals, 11-4, in the third quarter.

"We were a little flat in the first half," said McDonogh's Matt Primm. "But I think when we come out and play team offense and team defense, and really come out with a purpose, we can play with the best of them. We just started running our offense better. We were a lot more patient, I think."

Primm led the attack with five goals and an assist, along with Bob Benson (4-2), Owen Daly (3-1) and Jon Cole (five assists). Together, they helped stake the Eagles to an early three-goal lead before Severn responded.

"I think sometimes the worst thing for you is to jump on a team quick and get a little over-confident," said Reed. "They fought back and made some good inside plays, but I think we just picked up the intensity again in the second half. The kids played hard, and when they play hard, they can play with anybody."

Marshall Feldman and Drew Habeck scored two goals each to lead the Admirals (2-2, 0-2), who trailed by as many as nine at one point in the second half.

"We were flat and we looked like we were just happy to be here," said Toomey, who acknowledged that his team could use a healthy dose of confidence after two straight conference losses. "I think it's coming. I believe we're a better team right now than where we were last year. It's just going to take a four-quarter effort, and I haven't seen it."

The win was McDonogh's second straight after dropping a 13-12 heart-breaker to Gilman Friday.

"Any time you lose in double overtime to a team that's your archrival and possibly the No. 1 team in the country, it's real tough to come back and pick it up," Primm said. "I think we've done a pretty good job of that."

Pub Date: 3/25/98

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