The No. 1 McDonogh girls lacrosse team can't run away from every opponent in the first half, but the second half is almost always a different story.
Few teams can compete for 50 minutes with the Eagles' combination of talent, depth and relentless pressure. By the second half, they can run right past most opponents, including No. 6 Maryvale, which trailed by just one goal a minute before halftime Wednesday at Meadowood Regional Park in Brooklandville.
After that, the Eagles simply wore Maryvale down with a 9-1 run en route to a 22-13 victory in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game.
The Eagles (5-0, 4-0 conference) run two midfield units and had nine players score. Taylor Cummings led the way with five goals and two assists, while Mallory Schonk and Sam Burgess had four goals each and Corinne Etchison added three.
"I think in the second half, it was our depth," Etchison, a senior attacker, said. "We have so many good players on the sideline that come in. We sub 20-some people. That is a huge number and what, in the second half, makes us better than everybody else. We can step on the gas and keep going while other teams are getting tired."
The Eagles, three-time defending A Conference champions, extended the nation's longest active girls lacrosse winning streak to 56 games. They haven't lost since John Carroll beat them in the 2009 A Conference final.
The Lions (4-2, 3-2) hung close for the first 29 minutes Wednesday, thanks in large part to goalie Caroline Federico, who made two saves in the opening seconds and finished with 19. The game was tied four times in the first 18 minutes, and Samantha Aiello's free-position goal had the Lions within 10-9 in the final two minutes of the first half.
Cummings and Burgess started the breakaway with goals before halftime. Cummings, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, opened the second half with a goal and then fed Schonk for a 14-9 Eagles lead 1:12 after the break.
Kaitlan Moynihan's goal brought the Lions within 14-10 even though McDonogh won 21 of 25 draws up to that point.
Burgess answered Moynihan's goal 26 seconds later to spark a five-goal Eagles spurt that boosted their lead to 19-10 with 12:35 remaining. Two Taylor Oliver goals trimmed the lead to 19-12 with 9:24 remaining, but Burgess started another run that put the game out of reach, 22-12, with 2:16 left.
"They have more players on their team, and every single one of their players is a great athlete," Maryvale coach Jessica Randisi said. "Our girls are athletes, but we don't have the number and we can't keep up."
The Eagles finished with a 45-20 advantage in shots and won 29 of 37 draws. They also got a key performance from second-half goalie Katie Ferraro, who made six saves, including three that helped sustain their five-goal run.
Goals: MC—Cummings 5, Schonk 4, Burgess 4, Etchison 3, Whittle 2, Smith, George, Valis; MV—Ross 3, Darcangelo 2, Moynihan 2, T.Oliver 2, Ibello, McWright, Tizard, Aiello. Assists: MC—Cummings 2, Burgess; MV—Bochniak 2, Moynihan 2, Aiello, Crocetti. Saves: MC—Silber 1, Ferraro 6. Half: MC,12-9.