Category: McDonogh Girls Lacrosse

Notre Dame Prep ends No. 1 McDonogh’s 198-game winning streak; claims first IAAM A lacrosse championship since 2003 (VIDEO HERE!!)



by Derek Toney

An exulting Muhammad Ali standing over a knocked out and former champ Sonny Liston in a 1965 heavyweight championship boxing match is one of sports’ most iconic photos. For a decade, McDonogh School has casted an invincible and imposing shadow over area girls’ lacrosse.

Friday night, Notre Dame Prep became Ali. No. 2 Notre Dame Prep defeated the top-ranked Eagles, 10-8, in the IAAM A Conference title match at Tierney Field in Sparks.

Senior attack Caitlynn Mossman and junior Brooke Barger each had two goals and one assist for Notre Dame Prep (17-4 overall), and Ellie Curry tallied twice. Julia Hoffman finished with a hat trick for McDonogh (21-1), and Maddie Jenner had two goals.

The Blazers led wire-to-wire, ending McDonogh’s national-record 198-game winning streak and nine-year reign as IAAM A champions. Notre Dame Prep is the the first team to beat the Eagles since New York’s Canadiaigua Academy posted a 12-10 decision in Owings Mills on Apr. 11, 2009.

After losing in overtime at McDonogh last week, Notre Dame Prep was confident going into Friday’s rematch.

“All these girls had been beaten by McDonogh by a number of goals….We had an opportunity in sudden death overtime and just didn’t make a play,” said Notre Dame Prep coach Mac Ford. “After that game, they just believed. We’re going to see them again and they made sure they were here.”

“This is probably the most talented team NDP has ever had. We knew this was our time to do it,” said Hannah Mardiney. “We had to win this game.”

It was far from flawless, but the Towson school did what no McDonogh opponent had been able to do in 3,317 days: Stare down the Eagle dynasty and not blink.

“It was so important to get up on them, getting the first draw, getting the first goal,” said Mossman. “We focused on the game in 10-minute increments, just focus on winning that first 10 minute, then move on to the next. Really just focusing on the next play.”

The Blazers dictated immediately, getting the opening draw against Jenner and Liza Regan dropping a strike. Mardiney, who was face-guarded in the prior meeting, beat her defender with an inside spin move and scored for a 2-0 advantage a little over six minutes in.

McDonogh answered with goals from Blaire Pearre and Hoffman, but Notre Dame Prep defender Sarah Cooper intercepted Eagle goalie Julia Cooper’s clear and scored. Ellie Curry got a Regan ricochet and converted, and Mossman finished a pass from senior Colleen Keefe, giving the Blazers a 5-2 advantage midway through the opening half.

The Hampton Lane school led 6-3 late when Mardiney drew a yellow card, giving McDonogh an extra-man advantage. Blazers senior goalie Vanessa Stamas made two stops, including a point blank attempt. Stamas wasn’t able to stop Jenner, who converted before the horn sounded, giving Eagles momentum going into halftime.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but we were still up,” said Mardiney. “We had to forget about that half and act like we’re down.”

“Mac said that we needed to believe in ourselves and push through the next 25 minutes,” said Stamas.

McDonogh drew to within 6-5 after Emma Tilson’s free position goal, set up by Sydney Rosa’s yellow card. The Blazers took advantage of another extra man opportunity with Mossman converting off a free position. Mardiney found freshman Nancy Halleron for a score, giving the Blazers an 8-5 advantage with 18 minutes left in regulation.

The Eagles climbed within 8-7 off a Jenner free position score, but junior Brooke Barger answered for Notre Dame Prep. Hoffman brought McDonogh back within a goal off a free position with 6:49 left in regulation, only to see the Blazers respond, this time Mossman, from behind the goal, finding Barger for a quick strike with 5:21 to play.

The Blazers got the ball back with about four minutes and ran out the remaining time, setting off a celebration 15 years in the making. It was the Hampton Road school’s first league title since 2003.

“Well, we did it,” said Ford. “We just had a lot of confidence coming into the game. Our defense (seniors Caroline Somerville, Sarah Cooper, Annika Meyer and Jordan Tilley and goalie Vanessa Stamas) played lights out and the leadership from our 21 seniors was great.”

For the first time since the 2008 IAAM A final against John Carroll School at Gerstell Academy, McDonogh’s seniors walked off for the final time with a loss. The Owings Mills school, the nation's consensus No. 1 team the last nine years, never got into a rhythm Friday, making numerous turnovers, missing several free position chances and drew three yellow cards (all in second half).

“We definitely didn’t play our best, but you have to give it to NDP, they played amazing tonight,” said Hoffman. “They have an amazing senior class. We made a lot of silly mistakes and didn’t capitalized when we should, but we gave it our all. We played all 50 minutes, but they were stronger. A lot of our best friends are on that team and we’re happy for them.

We had an amazing couple of seasons together. I think what matters more is the bond we’ve made with all the girls. Those relationships means more than the wins or losses.”

After getting the elusive IAAM glass championship bowl, Notre Dame Prep players put on t-shirts with the saying, “The Streak Starts Today.” The Blazers had lost to 20 straight to McDonogh, including last week’s 11-10 overtime loss at Dixon Field.

That streak is over, thanks in large part to the Blazer 21 seniors. Mardiney, Mossman, Caroline Sommerville, Maggie Corbo and Jordan Sabourin were freshman when Ford, a US Lacrosse Hall of Famer who starred at Gilman School and North Carolina in the 1980s, took over the program.

“This is crazy. People have dreams about this,” said Mardiney, who will play for the University of Florida next spring. “There was a lot of signs pointing toward us winning today. I couldn’t be happier.”

IAAM A Conference lacrosse championship

at Tierney Field, U.S. Lacrosse Complex

No. 2 Notre Dame Prep 10, No. 1 McDonogh School 8

Goals: Notre Dame Prep - Barger 2, Curry 2, Mossman 2, Cooper, Halleron, Mardiney, Regan; McDonogh - Hoffman 3, Jenner 2, March, Pearre, March

Assists: Notre Dame Prep - Barger, Mardiney, Mossman; McDonogh - Pearre

Saves: Notre Dame Prep - Stamas 5; McDonogh - Cooper 7

Notre Dame Prep 6 4 - 10

McDonogh 4 4 - 8