The No. 4 McDonogh boys’ lacrosse team made something clear on Friday: they are in it to win it.

The Eagles walked onto the turf at St. Paul’s and took control of their showdown with the No. 1 Crusaders, using the scoring sticks of Keegan Michel and Bremy Daly to beat their top ranked opponents, 11-6, in the latest edition of the VSN/FOX45 Game of the Week.

“We had 36 guys on the team that I thought worked really hard at practice to get ready for the game,” McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner said.  “I thought our leadership really stepped up at halftime and we really stuck together.  That is a tribute to the seniors on the team to hold this together.”

Daly not only opened the McDonogh scoring in the first quarter, but net two goals in the opening period, working with teammate David Williams to post a 3-1 lead over the Crusaders; a lead that would never be relinquished.

“The first push was definitely ball movement,” said Daly, who finished the day with three goals and an assist.  “We moved the ball around very well and we got great opportunities.”

The Eagles capitalized on opportunities in each of the four quarters, including a fourth quarter which earned four scores, three of them coming by way of Michel.

“I think it took a little while for us to get going,” Michel explained.  “We really started getting the ball around two to three times and started hitting our dodges full speed and exposing our match-ups.  That is when the opportunities really started opening up.”

Michel added a third quarter score to his three in the fourth, while assisting teammate Evan Glaser during a two-goal second.

But the Crusaders didn’t let the Eagles run away with their latest win, coming within one goal two times in the game, seeing a 3-2 deficit in the opening minutes of the second quarter and finishing the first half on the downward side of a 5-4 score.

Parks led the Crusaders in scoring with his two-goal game, scoring in the second and fourth quarter, with single goal games from Maddux, Coulson, Mitchel and Guthberlet.

“McDonogh played a great game and they wanted it more than we did,” Crusader coach Rick Brocato said.  “The second quarter we got after it a little more on ground balls and had a few more possession.  

“A couple of those goals were extra man goals, and when you have those opportunities we are going to try and take advantage of them.”

stpSt. Paul’s scored twice with man-advantages in the second quarter, missing opportunities twice in the first and once in a scoreless third quarter for the Crusaders.

“The bottom line is they deserved this win and took it to us.  We need to figure things out real quick or we will be on the outside looking in,” Brocato said of his team, who next sees a tough opponent in No. 6 St. Mary’s, Tuesday.  

“It is a long season and we have 10 more league games, and these guys need to figure out that they have a bulls eye on their back this year and we are going to get everybody’s best shot.”

McDonogh, with the statement win, takes its 5-1 record into Tuesday’s game with No. 12 Archbishop Spalding.

“We have to stay hungry,” Hilgartner said.  “Last year we beat St. Paul’s in a great Friday afternoon game, and then went out and lost to Spalding.”

McDonogh 11, St. Paul’s 6

McD   3   2   2   4  —  11
STP     1   3   0   2  —   6