Century controlled play for much of the first 20 minutes against visiting McDonogh in girls lacrosse Monday night. The Knights scored the first three goals, won the first four draws and often kept possession.
But top-ranked McDonogh slowly turned things around. The Eagles began to win the draws, gain possession and manufacture scoring chances, all of which helped McDonogh rally for a 10-7 victory over No. 5 Century.
The Eagles improved to 18-0 and now have won 87 consecutive games. Megan Whittle led the way with three goals and one assist after McDonogh needed nearly 20 minutes to score a goal — but then went on a 10-2 run.
"We didn't see the ball for the first 10 minutes," McDonogh coach Chris Robinson said. "They really were prepared and psyched up."
Century (10-2), which saw its 10-game winning streak end, kept the ball away from the potent McDonogh offense throughout much of that opening half.
The Knights won the first four draws and remained patient, finding scoring chances and using goals from Hannah Warther, Morgan Marrale (three goals) and Marissa Donoghue (two goals) to take a 3-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.
McDonogh didn't even get settled into an offensive possession for nearly nine minutes. Century goalie Allison Remenapp (nine saves) also made some big stops early, but the Eagles finally took off.
"We weren't panicking," Whittle said. "We stayed composed. Everything falls together once you get the draws."
The Eagles won 10 of the final 15 draws, as Olivia Jenner and Savannah Buchanan combined on an effective performance after that slow start.
The Eagles finally got on the board when Grace Muller (two goals) scored on a free-position shot with 6:20 left in the first half. Whittle scored again with 3:29 left and then assisted Bella Huther on a game-tying goal 20 seconds later.
Buchanan and Marrale traded goals for a 4-4 halftime tie. Elizabeth George (one goal, one assist) gave the Eagles the lead for good on her goal 30 seconds into the second half, then she assisted Muller for a 6-4 lead about three minutes later.
Donoghue's free-position shot cut the McDonogh lead to one, but the Eagles broke the game open with four straight goals. Whittle got two of them, while Sammie Burgess and Brindi Griffin added the others.
Century tried to bounce back once more thanks to goals from Alexa McGovern and Marrale. The latter made it 10-7 with 2:58 remaining, but McDonogh won the ensuring draw and ran out the clock.
"They really just wore us down," Century coach Becky Groves said. "We really hung with them. We had nothing to lose, [and] my girls really went for it."
No. 1 McDonogh 10, No. 5 Century 7
Goals: M-Whittle 3, Muller 2, Huther, Buchanan, Burgess, George, Griffin; C-Marrale 3, Donoghue 2, McGovern, Warther. Assists: M-Whittle, Burgess, George; C- Wolfe, Dickman. Saves: M-Silber 1; C-A. Remenapp 9. Half: 4-4Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun