With a steady stream of All-American stars, over the last seven years, the McDonogh girls lacrosse team has unleashed its high-powered offensive attack to subdue so many opponents while building its historic winning streak. That streak reached 165 with Saturday evening’s 11-5 win over Good Counsel in the PNC Lacrosse Invitational at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex, as the Eagles used a slightly different formula.
On the rare occasion that the Eagles have been challenged, as they were in the first half Saturday, it is the McDonogh defense which gets the chance to shine. This point is abundantly clear to McDonogh coach Chris Robinson.
“We had eight turnovers in the first half, which is uncharacteristic for us to be throwing the ball away that much,” said Robinson. “I have to give a whole bunch of kudos to our defense. They really saved the day for us. They were pretty awesome all day long, from the beginning to the end. When we were down in the first half, they had multiple opportunities because we kept turning the ball over. Our defense stepped up huge.”
Leading 6-4 at the half, McDonogh (10-0) scored the first three goals of the second stanza to take charge. Maddie Jenner scored on a free position, at 18:44, to start the run. Senior midfielder Andie Aldave then scored the next two, with assists from Julia Hoffman and Catie May, to go up 9-4, with 10:49 remaining.
Taylor McDaniels scored her second goal of the game, 20 seconds later to keep Good Counsel alive, but the Eagles dominated possession over the final 10 minutes and iced the contest with Jenner’s second goal and Hoffman’s third. Hoffman finished with a team-high five points, scoring a hat-trick and adding a pair of assists, while Aldave also had a hat-trick.
“Good Counsel is a very good opponent and we were very excited coming out,” said Aldave. “They have a lot of great players going to top D1 programs. Props to them, they put up a really good fight. We didn’t play our best lacrosse the first half. Our coach always talks about how the second half is where you show everything you’ve got. That is where we started to pick up the game and blew them out of the water.”
Largely due to its turnover issues, McDonogh failed to score until nearly seven minutes had elapsed in the first half. Good Counsel, on the other hand, got off four shots in the first few minutes and took a 1-0 lead on a unassisted goal by sophomore Kayla Rieu.
The Eagles finally got on the board at the 18:38 mark when Hoffman squared the contest with an unassisted goal. The Eagles went on a run from there, scoring three more goals over the next five minutes to build a 4-1 advantage.
Junior Anna Robinson put McDonogh on top when she converted a feed from May. Hoffman then assisted Aldave, at 15:02, to make it 3-1, before Hoffman capped a big first half with her second unassisted goal.
With 8:08 to play in the half, Good Counsel got back on the board with a free position score from Taylor McDaniels and, four minutes later, the Falcons drew within one on an unassisted tally by Halle Graham.
The teams traded goals before the half ended, with the Eagles getting an unassisted tally from Emma Schettig, before Ioanna Mantzouratos countered for the Falcons, cutting McDonogh’s lead to 6-4 at the half.
Despite the attention the streak draws from media and fans, the Eagles try not to focus on it.
“Personally, I think it is just another game,” said Hoffman. “Our coach always emphasizes that you can only look at the game right ahead. He never brings up the streak, so I think he does a really good job keeping us cool and calm to make sure we’re not thinking of the streak and just the game coming up.”
“Sometimes teams go down, but in our program we have faith in our philosophy, if we look at one game at a time and everyone believes in the system, there is no way anyone can beat us,” add Aldave.
Robinson look at the game as one more way to help his team improve.
“It was a new experience for us, a learning experience and, hopefully, it will be invaluable for us down the stretch to play under that kind of pressure,” said Robinson. “The pressure of TV cameras and a big crowd, in a stadium atmosphere, it’s great for us.”
AT RIDLEY ATHLETIC COMPLEX
NO. 1 MCDONOGH SCHOOL 11, GOOD COUNSEL 5
MCD 6 5 — 11
GC 4 1 — 5
GOALS: MCD - Julia Hoffman 3, Andie Aldave 3, Maddie Jenner 2, Emma Schettig 1, Anna Robinson 1, Julie Dorsey 1; GC - Taylor McDaniels 2, Kayla Rieu 1, Halle Graham 1, Ioanna Mantzouratos 1.
ASSISTS: MCD - Julia Hoffman 2, Catie May 2; GC - None.
SAVES: MCD - Julia Cooper 4; Katie Forman 6.
Last Updated (Sunday, 09 April 2017 17:20)