With an entirely new defensive unit, McDonogh School girls’ lacrosse coach Chris Robinson figures there’ll be some growing pains. The process began Tuesday as the Eagles survived in their season debut.

Friday, however, was a different story. The area’s top-ranked squad put together a solid performance on both sides, knocking off No. 2 Notre Dame Prep, 13-6, in an IAAM A Conference battle in Owings Mills.

Junior midfielder Taylor Cummings scored five goals for McDonogh (2-0 overall, 2-0 IAAM A), and junior attack Corinne Etchinson and sophomore Posey Valis each contributed three scores. Erin Seipp scored five goals to lead Notre Dame Prep (1-1, 1-1 IAAM A).

The two-time defending IAAM A champ Eagles led wire-to-wire in the first meeting of the season between the area’s juggernauts. Robinson was pleased with the effort after an up-and-down showing in 16-14 decision at Roland Park Country School earlier in the week.

“I think Roland Park really exposed some weakness and the kids really worked hard the last couple of days at getting better,” said Robinson. “We played almost a complete game and played really well for early in the season.”

The numbers told the story Friday. McDonogh outshot the Blazers, 31-18, and dominated the draws, 16-5. Cummings said jitters, which caught a young Eagle squad Tuesday, was non-existent in the rematch of last year’s league finals.

“We showed that we made some improvements,” said Cummings. “This is a big game.”

Like they’ve done in most of their 32-game winning streak, the Eagles sent Notre Dame Prep reeling early with a 5-1 start as Cummings and Etchinson each scored twice. After McDonogh stopped a Notre Dame Prep shot, Valis scooped up a ground ball, ran straight downfield about 30 yards then found Etchinson off to her right, and Etchinson finished for a 6-2 advantage.

Valis finished the offensive showing with a hat trick in the second half. After getting bruised up Tuesday, McDonogh’s defense flipped the script Friday as junior Katie Ferraro was solid in goal with 10 saves. Notre Dame Prep’s Covie Stanwick, the nation’s No. 1 player, scored once.

taylor cummings and katie ferraro“We have only one returning defender in Chelsea [Reed] and we have seven new girls and I’m proud of every one of them,” said Ferraro. “Our midfield got back and our attack rode, so it’s just not the defense, everybody played well.”

“We need that consistency,” said Robinson of Ferraro. “We’re playing three sophomores on defense with a couple of seniors. They’re athletic and going to get better.”

Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel said there’s much room for improvement for her squad.

“We didn’t get the basics done much less than anything else,” said Bartel. “We made some huge mistakes. We had opportunities then we did dumb stuff, stepping out of bounds, not come up with a clean catch that was uncontested. We won’t be taking off the day tomorrow.”

Neither will the Eagles, who come back Saturday morning with a non-league contest against Connecticut’s Taft School. McDonogh is back to league play Tuesday against Mount de Sales Academy before traveling to No. 3 John Carroll School.

“We’re playing eight sophomores and a freshman in our rotation and they’re playing fearless,” said Robinson. “We got a lot of coaching to do, but it’s exciting.”