With a 73-game winning streak on the line and rival Bryn Mawr rallying to within 5-4 late in the first half, it would have been understandable if No. 1 McDonogh players were getting a little anxious.
Unfortunately for the No. 4 Mawrtians (1-1), that's not how the Eagles handled the situation Thursday afternoon in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference battle.
Instead of falling apart, McDonogh (4-0, 2-0 conference) scored the game's next seven goals on the way to a 12-7 victory to keep the streak alive at least until hosting Episcopal Academy (Pa.) on Saturday.
"We've already played from behind this year," said McDonogh coach Chris Robinson, alluding to wins over Vero Beach (Fla.) and Milton (Ga.) earlier this month. "There was no panic on our part."
After McDonogh grabbed a 5-2 advantage on sophomore midfielder Olivia Jenner's goal midway through the first half, Bryn Mawr crept back into contention on goals by senior midfielder Kate Snouffer and junior line mate Kate Groenke to trim the deficit to a goal.
That's when the Eagles' resolve manifested itself in a big way.
They closed the half on a 3-0 run on goals by sophomore midfielder Elizabeth George, junior attacker Megan Whittle and freshman midfielder Savannah Buchanan to double the advantage.
Then, the visitors piled on four more scores to open the second half by senior attackers Grace Muller and Casey Black and Whittle (two of her game-high five) to take complete control with eight minutes remaining.
A closing flurry on two goals by Snouffer and one by sophomore midfielder Alex Argo made the final score more respectable.
"We stayed composed," Whittle said about the Eagles' decisive seven-goal outburst against Bryn Mawr senior goalie Ellie DeGarmo, who finished with a dozen saves and drew rave reviews from Eagle players. "We knew we had a lot of time to get off a perfect shot."
DeGarmo's counterpart, University of Michigan-bound senior Allison Silber, showed her stuff in the second half as the Mawrtians' attempted a comeback. She had five saves before freshman backup Gabbe Cadoux was touched for three goals and made two stops.
The key, though, for McDonogh was its swarming ride and clinging defense.
"They do a great job of harassing you," Bryn Mawr coach Wendy Kridel said. "They put a lot of pressure between the 30 (-yard lines). They force you into making bad passes. You don't want to do it, but they're good at making you do it."
Goals: (M)-Whittle 5, Burgess 1, Griffin 1, Muller 1, Black 1, George 1, Jenner 1, Buchanan 1 (B)-Argo 1, Danko 1, Groenke 1, Snouffer 4.
Assists: (M)-Burgess 2, Cummings 1, George 1, Jenner 1 (B)-Brown 2
Saves: (M)-Silber 7, Cadoux 2 (B)-DeGarmo 12
Half: 8-4, MCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun