Everything from here on is "icing on the cake" for McDonogh's No. 1 girls lacrosse team after it broke one last record Saturday.
With their 105th straight win, 15-8 over North Harford, the Eagles added what is believed to be the national mark for consecutive games without a loss to their swelling record book, surpassing Loch Raven's 104-game unbeaten streak between 1973 and 1982.
Then, the Eagles won No. 106 over previously undefeated No. 7 Mount Hebron, 15-7, to take the title of the Mount Hebron Fight for Five Tournament at Cedar Lane Park.
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Cedar Lane Park, 5081 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD 21044, USA
On Thursday, the Eagles broke the national record with their 104th straight, one better than Loch Raven, which tied a game before winning 103 in a row, and Mount Hebron, which won its 103rd straight in 2007. Although no organization keeps such records for public and private schools, McDonogh's streak is widely acknowledged as the record.
"With the record breaking, I feel like it's just icing on the cake now since the pressure's off," Eagles senior Miranda McCoy said, "but we just want to keep playing our game and really not think about how many games we can win. We want to take one game at a time and try to keep the records out of our minds."
Mount Hebron (9-1) made a strong run at the Eagles (15-0) early on, but after the Vikings' Sorana Larson tied the game at 3 midway through the first half, McDonogh took off on a 12-2 run.
Brindi Griffin, who finished with five goals and an assist, scored on a feed from Kelsey Cummings to give the Eagles a 7-4 lead with 4:17 left in the first half. Then, while the Vikings had to play man down for two minutes after a yellow card, Olivia Jenner scored once and Elizabeth George twice in a little over a minute to take a 10-4 lead into the break.
"That took the wind out of our sails," Mount Hebron coach Trish Derwart said. "When we went man down and they had three goals, that just really drained us. They also run two midfields, which is a huge advantage that a lot of other teams don't have."
The Vikings had a 15-9 edge on the draw — a rare advantage against the Eagles — and were pretty close in shots, 26-23, but McDonogh played stellar defense and goalie Gabbe Cadoux had 13 saves, nine in the second half.
In the opening game of the tournament, the Eagles sealed their latest record with an early five-goal spurt fueled in part by North Harford playing man down and by McDonogh's dominance on the draw. That countered a terrific performance from Hawks goalie Haley Ensor, who had 11 saves.
The Hawks matched McDonogh 1-1 in the opening minutes but could not take advantage of playing a man up for two of the first seven minutes. When North Harford went man down, however, McDonogh's Maryland-bound senior Megan Whittle scored three goals in less than a minute to spark a five-goal Eagles run.
Whittle said the Eagles are always aware of how badly each opponent wants to be the one to end the streak.
"Every team that we play comes out with their best punch and they're pumped," she said. "They're excited to play us, and we've just got to remain calm and do our thing and execute. I thought we had a very explosive beginning. We just got the draw controls, and I was the lucky one that happened to have the open shots for the goals."
Late in the half, Whittle, who finished with six goals for the second straight game, scored twice in less than a minute to boost the Eagles' lead to 9-2.
North Harford wasn't intimidated and scored three times in the final 3:16 to go into halftime trailing 10-5. Coming out of the break, however, the Hawks couldn't get anything going because they couldn't get the draw.
McDonogh won 20 of 25 draws in the game, including 11 of the first 12. They also won the first five of the second half, helping McCoy open the half with a goal and Griffin add two more for a 13-5 lead with 19:24 to go.
The Hawks got as close as within 14-8 when Jen Doering fed Megan O'Donnell with 7:38 left, but the Eagles stalled away much of the rest of the game.
Despite the loss, the Hawks were thrilled to have played so well and to have taken their shot at a team that hasn't lost since 2009 and hasn't lost to a Maryland team since 2008.
"It's so exciting because if you win, you shock the world. If you lose, you have nothing to lose," North Harford defender Nicole Latgis said. "I like playing teams like that. It's a lot better playing a team like that than playing a team where you know you'll win."