Saturday and Sunday, four of the top teams from Maryland will take on four from New York, including a No. 1 vs. No. 2 national showdown between McDonogh (8-0) and Garden City (6-0).
McDonogh is ranked No. 1 this week in ESPN High School’s Fab 50 while Garden City is ranked No. 2. Both teams boast winning streaks over 50 games – McDonogh, 59 and Garden City, 54. McDonogh’s streak is the longest active girls lacrosse winning streak in the country.
The Challenge features three Top 15 Baltimore teams – No. 1 McDonogh, No. 2 Bryn Mawr, No. 8 St. Paul’s and John Carroll. No. 5 Notre Dame Prep declined to participate because of a prom conflict, and Maryland public school teams were unable to participate because they cannot play on Sundays.
When she coached at Mount Hebron, Kuhl-McClelland played some New York teams and kept in contact with some of the coaches. She said she suggested the tournament to Garden City coach Diane Chapman a few years ago and Chapman liked the idea.
“Everybody always asks, ‘Where’s the hot bed?’ It’s always Maryland-New York, New York-Maryland? So we thought, “Let’s just put that to rest and see if we can have a fun tournament with that,” Kuhl-McClelland said. “The original intent is to do this in Maryland this year and then take it to New York next year, but I’m not sure how that’s going to pan out.”
The pairings for the Saturday games are based on last season’s final LaxPower rankings. Sunday’s pairings will be decided based on the up-to-date power rankings after Saturday’s games. If the new rankings repeat the matchups, the teams will be shuffled so everyone gets a new opponent.
The Challenge includes the top four teams in the Fab 50: No. 1 McDonogh, No. 2 Garden City, No. 3 St. Anthony’s and No. 4 West Genesee as well as No. 6 Bryn Mawr, No. 10 Hauppauge and No. 31 St. Paul’s. John Carroll had been ranked No. 45 last week but dropped out of the Fab 50 this week.
Following is the schedule for Saturday’s games:
St. Paul’s vs. Hauppauge, 10
Bryn Mawr vs. St. Anthony’s, noon
John Carroll vs. West Genesee, 2
McDonogh vs. Garden City, 4