No. 1 McDonogh swarms from start in 23-12 win over No. 3 John Carroll

Two-time defending A Conference champion rolls after taking early 6-goal lead

  • John Carroll's Jordan Clarke, left, punishes McDonogh's Corinne Etchinson after Etchinson took a shot on goal during the first half.
John Carroll's Jordan Clarke, left, punishes McDonogh's… (Gene Sweeney Jr. / Baltimore…)
March 31, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Fearing John Carroll's comeback potential, the No. 1 McDonogh girls lacrosse team didn't hold back against the No. 3 Patriots on Thursday.

Taking a six-goal lead a little over 10 minutes into the game, the Eagles rolled to their 37th straight victory, 23-12, in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game played mostly in a steady rain on the turf at Wade Tucker II Memorial Field in Hickory, near Bel Air.

Jen Cook had five goals and an assist, and Taylor Cummings had four goals and two assists to lead the Eagles (4-0, 3-0). The two-time defending A Conference champions have not lost to a Maryland opponent since John Carroll beat them in the tournament final in May 2008. The Eagles and the Patriots are the only teams to win back-to-back A Conference titles and to finish unbeaten in a season — the Eagles last year and the Patriots in 2008.

On Thursday, the host Patriots (1-2, 1-2) had a few mini-rallies but never managed to get much traction against a swarming Eagles squad that had scored as many as 23 goals only one other time in the past seven seasons and never against an A Conference opponent.

"Just when we'd start to get a run, get a couple draw controls, turn them into goals, they'd answer right back," Patriots coach Krystin Porcella said. "That's leadership. That's experience. That's a good team chemistry out there."

The Patriots, who got four goals from Erica Bodt and three from Annie Thomas, had their best chance to rally early in the second half. Trailing 14-7, they controlled the first two draws but turned them over. Cook and Brooks Lawler made John Carroll pay, boosting the Eagles' lead to 16-7.

Bodt then scored a free-position goal to pull within 16-8, but the Patriots could make up no more ground despite outshooting the Eagles 11-3 to open the half. While the Eagles scored on all three of their shots, with Cook converting another turnover, the Patriots scored only twice. They went 2-for-11 on free positions during that stretch, and Cat Gordon's eight-meter goal with 12:57 left made it 17-9.

The Eagles then matched the next three Patriots goals before taking their first 10-goal lead, 21-11, when Lawler scored with 5:39 left.

For McDonogh, this was the third early-season victory over a top contender in the A Conference; the Eagles defeated No. 2 Notre Dame Prep, 13-6, and slipped by a fast-rising No. 12 Roland Park team, 16-14, in the season opener.

"We have a real young team, and we're just striving to get better every day," said Cummings, an All-Metro Eagles midfielder. "We're going to come out tomorrow for practice, and we're going to work really hard. We're just going to keep getting better because we can't get complacent or teams will catch us."

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