Once Megan Whittle got going, top-ranked McDonogh went with her.
The Eagles' talented junior attacker scored five of her game-high six goals in the first half Thursday, as the host McDonogh girls lacrosse team posted a 19-10 victory over No. 4 Maryvale. Sophomore midfielder Elizabeth George added five goals as McDonogh (15-0, 9-0 IAAM) broke open a close game midway through the first half and rolled to its 84th consecutive victory.
George scored the game's first two goals, but Maryvale senior midfielder Sydney Hesselbein tallied twice to even the game. After Grace Muller scored to put McDonogh back in front, sophomore midfielder Miranda Ibello knotted the score when she nailed a backhanded shot at the 12:02 mark of the first half.
But McDonogh quickly turned the game in its favor, scoring five unanswered goals in a four-minute span. The Eagles began the game-changing run with three extra-man goals in just 27 seconds. Junior midfielder Miranda McCoy began the Eagles' surge at the 9:26 mark. Whittle scored an unassisted goal, then took a pass from senior attacker Sammie Burgess and fired a point-blank shot past Lions goalkeeper Caroline Federico with 8:59 remaining in the first half, boosting the lead to 6-3.
Down 10-5 at halftime, Maryvale (9-2, 6-2 IAAM) showed some offensive spark early in the second half. Senior Amanda Bochniak's third goal of the game with 18:35 remaining capped a 3-1 Lions run that narrowed McDonogh's advantage to 11-8.
Federico (12 saves) then stopped consecutive shots from just outside the crease. But George picked up the rebound of the second shot, dodged a defender, and scored to boost the Eagles' lead to four. George's goal was the start of a game-ending 8-2 McDonogh run, as the Eagles pulled away from their closest IAAM rival.
"We had hard practices this week, and we were really prepared for them," Whittle said. "We knew that they had a good set offense, so we needed to get the draws and keep the pace up. The transition goals started coming, and when we set the ball we got the good, high-percentage shots that we wanted."
McDonogh's substantial edge in draw controls and overall offensive efficiency was simply too much for a Maryvale team that was playing its third game in four days.
"One of our big factors was [freshman midfielder] Savannah Buchanan, who came in and started controlling the draws after they won most of the early ones," said McDonogh coach Chris Robinson. "George has had a big week, with four goals the other day [in a win over
Maryvale, which lost to McDonogh in last year's IAAM championship game, was the first team to score in double figures this year against the Eagles' staunch defense. Hesselbein finished with three goals and an assist, and Ibello, the Lions' leading scorer, contributed two goals and three assists.
"They are everything that everyone says they are," Maryvale coach Jessica Randisi said of McDonogh.
Goals: Ma – Hesselbein 3, Bochniak 3, Ibello 2, Tizard, McWright. McD – Whittle 6, George 5, Muller 2, Black 2, McCoy, Burgess, Horine, Valis. Assists: Ma – Ibello 3, McWright, Bochniak, Hesselbein, Doyle. McD – Black 3, Burgess 2, Griffin. Saves: Ma – Federico 12. McD – Silber 5, Cadoux 1.
Halftime: McD, 10-5