On cloud nine

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No. 1 McDonogh outlasts Notre Dame Prep for 177th straight victory, IAAM A lacrosse championship (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS/INTERVIEWS HERE)




A steady drizzle cascaded Archbishop Spalding's Whittles Field during the first half of Saturday's IAAM A Conference lacrosse championship game. Notre Dame Prep's faithful was aglow with excitement after the Blazers surged in front of top-ranked McDonogh School.

It was the calm before the storm. The Eagles regained control and pulled away from the No. 3 Blazers, 12-9, for a ninth consecutive IAAM A Conference championship.

Junior midfielder Maddie Jenner and Julia Hoffman each scored three goals for McDonogh (22-0 overall), and University of Notre Dame recruit Andie Aldave finished with two scores. Mossman posted four goals and two assists for Notre Dame Prep (19-3).

The greatest girls' dynasty in Baltimore high school history lives on as the Owings Mills private school made it 177 straight wins Saturday. The Eagles haven't loss to an area opponent since the end of the 2008 season.

On the 3,290th day since falling to John Carroll School in the IAAM A finale at St. Paul's School, McDonogh stared down another championship game challenge and didn't blink.

"We talked about how good of a team Notre Dame Prep was and today, they put up a pretty good fight," said Aldave, a midfielder. "But I also think this team, especially this year worked so hard. I think in the end, when you really need the possessions and need to score a goal, we can get the job done."

And the Eagles have the ultimate game changer in Jenner. Saturday, the 6-foot-1 completed her dominant campaign with an exclamination point, winning 14 draws. 

McDonogh finished with a 20-3 advantage as Jenner used her length to snatch the ball high out of the air or get an edge on groundballs. Jenner, who succeed big sister Liv (now a sophomore at Duke) as the Eagle draw specialist, morphed into a scoring option this season.

"She's a difference maker, there's no doubt we get a lot more possessions and play a lot more offense because of her, " said McDonogh coach Chris Robinson. "She was really a big offensive threat tonight."

"I knew with Brindi (Griffin) and Savannah (Buchanan) graduating there would be some holes on offensive end," said Jenner.

Jenner, with Andie Aldave and sophomore Blaire Pearre on ground ball support, didn't lose a draw in the opening half. McDonogh led 3-0 inside the first six minutes, but sparked by Lucy Lowe's denial of Catie May's point blank attempt, Notre Dame Prep responded.

The Blazers, who dropped a 9-4 decision to the Eagles in a tight possession battle a couple of weeks ago at Yeardley Love Field in Towson, ran off the next four scores, capped by Grace Haus' finish of a Mossman pass, for the lead with 5:24 left in the opening half. McDonogh called a timeout.

"We knew we needed to take a second, regroup and change momentum," said May, who will play for the University of Maryland next spring. 

Jenner won the ensuing faceoff and Emma Schettig scored, all in just 43 seconds, pulling the Eagles even. McDonogh regained the lead on Pearre's free position strike. 

After gaining another draw victory, Jenner maintained her balance, twisting around through a couple of Notre Dame Prep defenders and scored, giving the Eagles a 6-4 halftime advantage. She opened the second half with a free position tally as McDonogh pulled out to a 10-5 advantage with under 10 minutes play.

The Blazers, however, would not go away quietly. Freshman Liza Regan's unassisted tally made it 10-6, and, off a rare NDP faceoff win, Hannah Mardiney completed a fast break with a score, keeping its hopes alive with 6:01 left in regulation.

Jenner again casted her shadow, winning the next draw and found Schettig, a sophomore, for a goal. McDonogh got possession off the ensuing draw and Maryland commit Julia Hoffman scored, pushing the lead back to five with 4:29 left in regulation.

The Blazers again gave McDonogh a full 50-minute challenge, but had no answer for Jenner.

"We don't have anybody 6-foot-1. She was phenomenal," said Notre Dame Prep coach Mac Ford. "She's the best high school player in the country. What for she does, there's no other dominating player."

"As a midfielder on the draw circle, you do your best to get 50-50 ground balls but when Maddie's getting the ball to herself, it's comfortable...I wish she was coming to college with me," said Aldave.

Aldave, Nicole Aleece, Margaret Donovan, May, Jordan Ansell, Bethany Lally, Rachel Ward and Isabelle Webster was part of another McDonogh senior class that did not lose a game (86-0 last four seasons). The Eagles haven't a lost a game since a 12-10 decision to New York's Canandaigua Academy in Owings Mills Apr. 11, 2009.

Robinson, who did some rare celebratory jumping with his team after another season of perfection, said McDonogh has raised the standard in girls' lacrosse.

"I need to go away for a couple of weeks, relax and dream it up all over again," said Robinson, whose team will be ranked No. 1 nationally for an eighth straight season. "That's the fun part of starting a new season...we'll try to reinvent next year."

IAAM A Conference lacrosse championship

at Archbishop Spalding

No. 1 McDonogh School 12, No. 3 Notre Dame Prep 9

Goals: Notre Dame Prep - Mossman 4, Eby, Haus, Mardiney, Railey, L. Regan; McDongh - Hoffman 3, Jenner 2, Aldave 2, Pearre 2, May, Schettig

Assists: Notre Dame Prep - Mossman 2, Mardiney, Railey; McDonogh - Jenner, May, Robinson, Schettig

Saves: Notre Dame Prep - Lowe 1; McDonogh - Cooper 1

Notre Dame Prep 4 5 - 9

McDonogh 6 6 - 12

Last Updated (Monday, 15 May 2017 11:23)



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