Roland Park bows in A Conference final, Friends falls in B

  • Caroline Seats (center), of Roland Park, looks to teammate Meggie Ramzy (right) as Posey Valis (left), of McDonough, defends during a championship lacrosse game held at the Gerstell Academy in Finksburg on Saturday, May 14. Final score: 18-17 McDonough.
Caroline Seats (center), of Roland Park, looks to teammate… (Staff photo by Kitty Charlton,…)
May 24, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, Baltimore Sun

McDonogh goalie Katie Ferraro made several exceptional saves in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title game May 14, but none more important than the last.

The junior saved a free-position shot to her low left corner from Roland Park Country School's Caroline Seats with 2:19 left that secured an 18-17 victory for the Eagles, their third straight A Conference title and their 51st straight win before about 900 fans at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg.

The Eagles (19-0) took an 11-7 lead late in the first half with a 5-0 spurt, the only significant run of the game, and held off the No. 5 Reds (15-6), who pulled within 17-16 on Betsy Angel's free-position goal with 3:47 to go.

Seats attempted to tie it at 17, but Ferraro said she knew where the Reds senior planned to shoot.

"We watch game film and I think everyone on the team has told me a good 20 times at least, 'She shoots low every time.' I knew it was going low, I just didn't know exactly where," Ferraro said.

After the clear, the Eagles ran more than a minute off the clock, so the Reds brought goalie Mattie Miller out to help them double-team the ball. McDonogh's Taylor Cummings found a clear path to the empty goal and beat two defenders to score the game-winner with 59 seconds left.

The Reds, who had not been to the title game since 2004, weren't finished as Gabby Weintraub won the next draw and Mattie Meredith scored her fifth goal of the game on a free position with 36.9 seconds left. Liz Bannatine then made sure the Reds would not get the ball again, winning the final draw for the Eagles, who ran out the clock.

"No one has ever won the IAAM A championship three times and that's what we were striving to do," said Cummings, who had five goals. "It's the best feeling in the world. We won for our seniors. Our seniors have worked so hard all year and every single person on this team contributed."

Coach Chris Robinson's Eagles, who pulled out a 16-14 win over the Reds in the conference opener in March, needed that 5-0 run late in the first half after Seats gave the Reds a 7-6 lead. The Eagles won five straight draws and Corrine Etchison scored three times, Brooks Lawler once and then Cummings made it 11-7 with 1:17 to go before the half.

No other team has managed to disrupt McDonogh's double-teaming defense the way coach Kristin Nicolini's Reds have. Coming into the final, the Eagles were allowing an average of 6.9 goals and had given up double figures only five times.

"Our team was just moving the ball fast and once we got the draw, we knew we could score each time," Georgetown University recruit Seats said. "So (we wanted to ) just keep the ball moving and also not take it from the top, because their doubles are always ready. We wanted to go from the sides."

McDonogh, ranked No. 1 in the country by ESPN Rise and laxpower.com, has not lost since April 11, 2009, when the Eagles fell to Canandaigua (N.Y.). John Carroll was the last local team to beat them, in the 2008 A Conference final. McDonogh's 51 straight wins is the sixth-longest winning streak in Baltimore girls lacrosse history behind the record 103, set by Loch Raven in 1982 and matched by Mount Hebron in 2007.

SUBHEAD Quakers bow in 'B'

Two losses to Mercy by a combined three goals during the regular season did not help Friends keep it close in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship game May 14 at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg.

The Quakers fell, 13-7, to the Magic in a game that hinged on fundamentals — or a lack thereof.

"We needed to get groundballs and draw controls, that was our plan," said Friends coach Mandy Hudson. "But our execution may have been a little off."

The Quakers (11-4) also might have been intimidated by the atmosphere, considering they had only one senior (defense wing Isabel Swicklik) and five freshmen starters.

"We were a little slow on the uptake," Hudson added. "We're a very young team, so that may have had something to do with it."

Mercy's 5-0 run from the end of the first half until 10:38 remained was more than enough to propel the Magic (17-1) to its first IAAM title in its first year in the B Conference.

Defense keyed Mercy's charge by holding the Quakers scoreless for nearly 20 minutes between goals by junior Emma Sissman with 4:37 left in the first half until classmate Ella Cooper struck again with 9:46 to go in the game.

"We started shutting off both Sissman and Cooper," Mercy coach Patrick Finn said. "They were the ones we needed to stop."

By the time Cooper scored, Mercy held a commanding 10-5 advantage.

The University of Virginia recruit finished with five goals in the loss after converting two free-position attempts in the final minutes.

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