No. 1 McDonogh girls lacrosse wins 91st straight game, fourth straight national title
Few teams in any sport can come close to the ride the McDonogh's girls lacrosse program currently enjoys. The Eagles have won 91 straight games, five straight IAAM A Conference titles and four straight national No. 1 rankings.
Not all of the Eagles wins were overwhelming last spring. They won eight times by six goals or less and had to rally from four goals down to beat St. Paul's, 11-8, in the A Conference final. Rebuilding from significant graduation turnover, they came from behind to win their first two games -- 12-6 over Vero Beach, Fla., and 11-8 over Milton, Ga. -- at Vero Beach. They also had to rally for a 10-7 win over Century late in the season.
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Still, coach Chris Robinson's Eagles have dominated the opposition as a whole for so long, some opponents say they step on the field with a lead just from the intimidation factor. Their ability to win the close games in some ways makes them even more dominant.
In April, the Eagles (22-0) defeated Canandaigua, N.Y., 15-5. That was the last team to beat McDonogh, 12-11, on April 22, 2009. The Eagles need 13 wins to break the record of 103 straight girls lacrosse wins set by Loch Raven and tied by Mount Hebron.
MOST DOMINATING PERFORMANCE
No. 1 McDonogh football rips Gilman, 37-6
The longer it went on, the more impossible it seemed. We all knew McDonogh was good, but after a couple hours of tearing No. 2 Gilman apart, the Eagles showed us just how good.
The offensive line handled Gilman's defensive line, Eagles linebackers Wyatt Cook and Connor Young and defensive back Josh Woods wreaked havoc on the Greyhounds offense and it was 14-0 less than eight minutes into the game.
The Eagles offensive line -- Jared Cohen, Ryan Ford, Ellis McKennie, Joey Fiorino, Chase Kirol and Cook -- earns the most dominating unit within a dominating performance nod for its ability to let the rushing game flow almost at will as Syl Brown ran for two touchdowns and Alex Hurdle and Kareem Montgomery ran for one each.
I couldn't say it better than Hurdle did: "Our offensive linemen showed that they're the best in the league, no questions asked. Those guys won us [the McDonogh game] and won us all of our games this season. No doubt, they're the best line ever in McDonogh history -- biggest, strongest, work the hardest, most athletic, everything."
The line plowed the way for 36.2 points per game which fueled an 11-0 season, the MIAA A Conference championship and a No. 49 national ranking in the Student Sports FAB 50.
Oh and of course, they won the 98th annual meeting with Gilman, a win that not only brought bragging rights in the rivalry but clinched the A Conference championship.
BIGGEST RISKS THAT PAID OFF
St. Frances football jumps to the A Conference
St. Frances' football program left more than a few folks shaking their heads when school officials announced their intention to move from the MIAA C Conference to the A Conference. Sure the Panthers were too good for the C Conference after winning two straight titles, the 2012 crown by an average of 35 points. But the A Conference?
While they didn't exactly "shock the world" as they had hoped, the Panthers finished a more-than-respectable 3-3 to land fourth in the seven-team A Conference. They fell to No. 1 McDonogh, 28-6; No. Gilman, 35-21; and No. 4 Archbishop Spalding, 35-34. Overall, they finished 5-6 against a loaded non-conference schedule that included DeMatha, Good Counsel, Friendship Collegiate and Eastern Christian.
Panthers coach Messay Hailemariam wanted to give his players better competition, not only to prove they could win at a higher level but to help get the Panthers more attention from college coaches wary of recruiting players who don't play against top-notch competition. He succeeded on both counts.
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