By Nelson Coffin, email@example.com
1:33 AM EDT, April 22, 2012
Shortly after the final whistle in the Maryland-New York Challenge on Saturday, strong winds and heavy rain swept across the St. Paul's School for Girls' home field in Brooklandville.
The storm that McDonogh unleashed on Garden City in the final game of the eight-team event, may have been even more impressive that what Mother Nature provided.
In a battle of unbeatens, the Eagles scored the game's first four goals, weathered a 5-2 run by the Trojans and blew away the six-time defending New York Class B state champs, 20-9.
When Garden City pulled to within a goal, at 6-5, on a score by junior attacker Jaqueline Jahelka with 7:43 remaining in the first half, McDonogh coach Chris Robinson took a timeout to settle his troops.
"We were turning the ball over and being way too impatient," he said. "We needed to run our offense, and not try to go for the knockout. The more patient we became, the less patient they were."
Sophomore attacker Meghan Whittle, who totaled a game-high seven goals and one assist, converted a feed from junior midfielder Grace Muller before senior center Taylor Cummings found the net a couple of minutes later. Whittle, senior defender Mallory Schonk and Cummings all scored before halftime for an 11-6 advantage.
The lead quickly blossomed to 15-5 with 17:33 to go on goals by junior attacker Sam Burgess, senior attacker Corinne Etchison, Whittle and sophomore midfielder Anne Smith to seal the visitors' fate.
"They don't compare to anyone we have played," Garden City coach Diane Chapman said. "They're No. 1 for a reason. They're in a league of their own."
Garden City was riding a 55-game winning streak coming into the battle while McDonogh extended its unbeaten string to 61, making the confrontation the feature game of the Challenge's first day.
The matchups were based on last year's final ranking by laxpower.com and included the host Gators bowing to Hauppauge, 15-9, Bryn Mawr routing St. Anthony's, 15-7 and West Genesee topping John Carroll, 14-6, before the Eagles (10-0) unloaded on the Trojans (7-1).
Sunday's games are based on current power rankings by laxpower.com, and will present St. Paul's-West Genesee (10 a.m.), Hauppauge-McDonogh (noon), Bryn Mawr-Garden City (2 p.m.) and John Carroll-St. Anthony's (4 p.m.) at the same site.
Goals: (GC) – Bruno 3, Jahelka 1, Dickinson 3, McTiernan 2; (M) – Whittle 7, Horine 1, Valis 1, Smith 1, Cummings 5, Schonk 1, Etchison 3.
Assists: (GC) – Fuchs 1, Dickinson 2, Schmitt 1; (M) – Whittle 1, Horine 1, Cummings 2, Muller 1, Etchison 3.
Saves (GC) – McDonald 8; (M) – Ferraro 7.
Half: (M) 11-5