McDonogh's No. 1 girls lacrosse team kept its winning streak rolling to 103 games Monday with a 16-9 win at No. 2 Marriotts Ridge that tied what is believed to be the national record for consecutive high school girls lacrosse victories.
Olivia Jenner dominated the draw and Elizabeth George had five goals and an assist to power the Eagles, who have not lost in more than five years, to victory in a showdown of undefeated teams.
"We were really pumped up for this game," George said. "It's huge that it was No. 1 vs. No. 2. We came out thinking of this game as sort of like a championship, so we played with the intensity of a championship and winning it kind of feels like a championship to us right now."
With their 103rd straight win, the Eagles tied the record set by Loch Raven in 1982 and tied by Mount Hebron in 2007. They can break it Thursday when they host No.12 St. Paul's at 4 p.m. for a rematch of last year's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship.
Loch Raven holds the record for most consecutive games without a loss at 104, having tied the game just before they won 103 in a row. The Eagles could surpass that Saturday at Mount Hebron's tournament.
No organization keeps national girls lacrosse team records for public and private high schools, but the streaks are widely acknowledged.
With the possibility of breaking two national records this week, the pressure would seem to be mounting on the Eagles, especially as a young team with only seven seniors. The players say that's not so.
"The streak is definitely there, but I feel like we don't think about it that much as a team," George said. "We're more focused on just playing well together and winning on our own, not winning for the streak. Every team wants to win, so you try to just play well and play the best you can. If we do that, I think the streak will stay alive."
The Eagles (12-0) have not lost since April 11, 2009 when they fell to Canandaigua, N.Y., 12-11. The last Maryland team to beat them was John Carroll in the 2008 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship.
Since then, the Eagles have won five straight A Conference titles and been the No. 1 team in the country the past four years. They are currently ranked No. 1 in every national poll.
The Mustangs, winners of two of the last three Class 3A-2A state championships, tried to make headlines as the team that ended the streak, but a 4-1 opening run for the Eagles and Jenner's dominance on the draw gave McDonogh all the advantage it needed.
Eagles goalie Gabbe Cadoux made the first of her 10 saves in the first minute and McDonogh answered with Brindi Griffin's goal.
Jenner, who won 12 of the 17 draws controlled by McDonogh, grabbed the next one and fed George for a 2-0 lead. After Carly Miller's goal for the Mustangs, Megan Whittle and Catie May extended the McDonogh lead to 4-1 just over eight minutes into the game.
Late in the half, the Mustangs would cut the Eagles' lead to 5-4 on Taylor Hensh's free-position goal, but Eagles freshman Andie Aldave answered with two straight goals and Marriotts Ridge would get no closer than within three the rest of the game.
Mustangs goalie Rachel Ortell had 17 saves, including nine in the first half to keep the score close. Marriotts Ridge coach Amanda Brady said her team knew it was still in the game going into halftime down just 9-6.
"That's when their draw control really, really gave us some trouble," Brady said of the Eagles ability to win six of the first eight draws of the second half. "At the defensive end, they were getting free positions, three or four in a row. We know we can't put them on the line. Our defense is really good but we're still working on our second slides and crashing."
The Eagles scored seven of the first eight goals in the second half three of them free–position goals by George. Whittle's third goal of the game made it 15-7 with 8:03 to go.
In addition to Jenner on the draw, Eagles coach Chris Robinson pointed to the play of both goalies as being key.
"Early on, if Rachel Ortell would not have had so many really big saves, we could have blown it open a little earlier," Robinson said, "but she really kept them in the game in the first half and then they were able to make their run. A team like that, you know they're going to make a run, but I'm just proud of our kids. They played so well. They played hard, composed for the most part. It was just a great win."
1McDonogh 16, 2Marriotts Ridge 9
Goals: MCD—George 5, Whittle 3, Griffin 2, Aldave 2, Smith 2, May, Cummings; MR—Miller 4, Hensh 2, Souder 2, Kerr. Assists: MCD—Jenner 2, George, Smith; MR—Hensh, Kerr, Davey, Corbliss. Saves: MCD—Gadoux 10; MR—Ortell 17. Half: MCD, 9-6.