McDonogh senior Taylor Cummings possesses the confidence of an elite athlete. As long as time remains on the clock, she expects her team to prevail.
A case in point was the Eagles' 46-44 come-from-behind victory in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship in February over defending champion Archbishop Spalding at UMBC.
McDonogh trailed by as many as 22 points, 17 at halftime. McDonogh coach Brad Rees was concerned, to say the least.
Cumming wasn't the least bit worried, though.
"As we were walking into the locker room at halftime, Taylor is walking out," Rees recalled. "I said, 'Where are going? We need to talk. We are getting killed.' She said, 'I'm going to get a Gatorade, don't worry, we're going to be fine. We're going to come back and win the game.'"
The 2012 Owings Mills Times Female Athlete of the year also brought the same winning attitude and poise to the lacrosse and soccer fields, helping each Eagles' squad to A Conference championships.
The 5-foot-8 Cummings scored 61 goals for the lacrosse team this spring to finish her four-year career with 200. She also totaled 20 goals and 12 assists for the soccer team.
With Cummings as its most dominant player, the lacrosse squad has generally been regarded as the nation's No. 1 team for the last three years. The Eagles lost only once during her varsity career and currently own a 69-game winning streak, dating back to the middle of the 2009 campaign.
"I have been doing this at McDonogh for 24 years, and she is arguably the most talented three-sport athlete we have ever had," said Mickey Deegan, the school's athletic director. "Cummings is in a league of her own. No one comes close. When she gets the ball, she is so fluid. Its almost like she's invisible. She sort of goes through defenders. People would scratch their head and say, 'How does she do that?'"
The 18-year-old Cummings will play lacrosse at the University of Maryland. She committed to the Terps in December of 2010, turning down offers from Duke, North Carolina and Florida.
Lacrosse Magazine named Taylor its National Player of the Year after the 2011 season.
"I fell in love with the coaching staff there," Cummings said. "And I am close to home. It was just a really good fit for me."
On the lacrosse field this spring, Cummings, a midfielder, scored plenty of big goals and won dozens upon dozens of draws for the 18-0 Eagles.
"She dominated everybody she faced," McDonogh coach Chris Robinson said of Cummings taking draws.
She scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds remaining in the 12-11 victory over Maryvale in the championship game.
Cummings also shined in the rout of nationally ranked Garden City, of New York. When Garden City cut the lead to 6-5, she helped the Eagles quickly pull away by recording three straight goals on their way to a 20-9 triumph.
"If there was a situation where we needed a clutch goal or we needed a big play, she was the one that always did it," Robinson said. "Her skill-set, along with her mind-set, made her the best lacrosse player in the country."
Cummings also turned in a standout season on the soccer field, being named an All-Conference pick for the second straight season.
McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis moved Cummings from forward to midfield for her senior year, but she made the transition a smooth one.
"I had been so used to playing forward," Cummings said. "It was tough. It was a new kind of game for me. I eventually felt more comfortable with it."
Rees called basketball Cummings' "third sport."
It sure didn't look that way, considering the way the shooting guard produced five double-doubles and averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 steals, 3.9 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game for the 26-1 Eagles.
Rees couldn't stop talking about Cummings' performance in the championship game, in which she scored 14 points in the final 16:10 to spark her team.
"She just took over in the second half," Rees said. "She hit some three pointers from NBA range. It was incredible. She could have played basketball in college, in my opinion."
Cummings also often guarded the opponent's best player, a role she embraced.
"Defense on the basketball court has always been my strength and something I love," Cummings said. "I love to make turnovers and spark my team. If I had a bad shooting day, I could always play good defense."
Cummings said she couldn't have scripted her senior year any better, winning championships in all three sports.
"I have always been playing sports since I was real little," she said. "I just tried to keep playing, kept working hard and gave it my all. I could have never dreamed it would be like this."