Late goal keeps McDonogh undefeated

No. 3 McDonogh 10 No. 9 St. Paul's 9

Girls lacrosse

March 30, 2007|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Sun

As the final seconds ticked down in yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland lacrosse game between No. 3 McDonogh and No. 9 St. Paul's, the last thing on the mind of Eagles junior Kerry Hamill was getting the ball.

However, when Caroline Spearman tossed the ball up as three Gators defenders converged on her, it was Hamill who came down with it just in front of the St. Paul's goal. She then dodged two defenders and fired a shot that found the corner of the net with six seconds left to lift the visiting Eagles to a 10-9 victory.

The win also provided McDonogh with some revenge after losing to the Gators in last year's IAAM championship. The Eagles remain undefeated in one of the strongest girls' lacrosse conferences in the nation.

"The sun was just everywhere and the ball just landed in my stick," Hamill said about the winning play. "We lost a lot of starters from last year and there was some doubt about whether we could replace them, but we stepped it up."

The two teams were evenly matched throughout yesterday's game, which featured four lead changes and six even scores. The Eagles opened the biggest lead, 9-6, with 5:17 left in the game, but the Gators continued to chip away.

St. Paul's tied the game on goals by Kate Cathell, Ashley Holofcener and Alli Koch, who scored with 19 seconds left. Despite giving up the tying goal, the Eagles quickly worked the ball downfield.

Spearman was looking for Molly Fernandez, who scored three of her game-high four goals in the second half. A tight St. Paul's defense, however, forced Spearman, who had a goal and two assists, to improvise and toss the ball toward the goal. In the end, the play could not have worked out better for the Eagles (6-0), who have eight new starters this season.

"We work on end-of-the-game plays, and it somewhat went how we expected," McDonogh coach Chris Robinson said. "Four out of six teams we played have been ranked, so we are tired. We need a day to rest. [St.Paul's] is a great team, so this is a nice win, especially as young as we are."

St. Paul's (1-3) has won two of the past three IAAM championships, and coach Mitch Whiteley said it is a matter of getting a couple of breaks to get back on track. Holofcener led St. Paul's with two goals and three assists.

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