Are surprises ahead in the IAAM A Conference lacrosse tournament?

The Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference girls lacrosse tournament gets underway in a few hours and, while No. 1 McDonogh is the overwhelming favorite, there could be a few surprises.

Consider that four of the top A Conference teams were upset in their regular-season finales. No. 2 St. Paul’s fell to No. 15 North Harford, 12-11; No. 7 Maryvale lost to No. 14 Archbishop Spalding, 12-10; No. 9 Severn lost to Notre Dame Prep, 15-13, in overtime; and No. 13 Mount de Sales lost to Catonsville, 13-12.

Even McDonogh, the four-time defending champion, escaped a close call at No. 5 Century after trailing, 3-0, to rebound for a 10-7 win that kept the Eagles’ 87-game winning streak rolling.

On the other end of the scale, Roland Park, which had won only four games going into last week, finished strong with a pair of upsets -- 12-10 over Spalding and 11-9 over Mount de Sales.

Today’s schedule (McDonogh, St. Paul’s, Bryn Mawr and Maryvale have first-round byes):

Archbishop Spalding at Mount de Sales, 4:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s at Severn, 4:30 p.m.

Garrison Forest at NDP, 4:30 p.m.

John Carroll at Roland Park, 4:30 p.m.

Today’s most compelling game, however, is not a tournament game. McDonogh (18-0) hosts No. 6 Marriots Ridge at 4 p.m. in a clash of the only two undefeated girls lacrosse teams in the Baltimore area. The Mustangs (12-0) needed four overtimes to beat archrival and then-No. 6 Mount Hebron, 13-12, Friday night.

The game should be very intense. A lot of the players on the two teams know each other. McDonogh draws a lot of talent from Howard County and Mustangs players also play in Eagles coach Chris Robinson’s M&D Lacrosse Club.

We’ll see what each coach learned by scouting the other’s close call.

Either way, the Eagles will move on to Monday’s IAAM quarterfinals when they will host the Mount de Sales-Spalding winner at 4:30 p.m.

Other IAAM quarterfinal games Monday:

Severn/St. Mary’s winner at Maryvale, 4:30 p.m.

NDP/Garrison Forest winner at Bryn Mawr, 4:30 p.m.

John Carroll/Roland Park winner at St. Paul’s, 4:30 p.m.

The quarterfinal winners advance to Thursday’s semifinals at the higher seed. The title game is set for Sunday, May 12 at 2 p.m. at McDaniel College in Westminster.

The Mustangs will move on to the Class 3A-2A South regional playoffs which begin Wednesday.

The draw for the tournament bracket will be held Monday. No matter the draw, the Mustangs likely will have to get past Mount Hebron again to make it to the state final four. The Vikings beat them last year in the regional playoffs after the Mustangs won the state title in 2011

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