Only twice this season has top-ranked McDonogh's girls soccer team trailed 1-0, and each time, the Eagles answered quickly.
Yesterday's 3-2 victory over No. 11 Loch Raven was the second time McDonogh (14-0) had fallen behind.
Six minutes remained in the first half when Robyn Harry's 25th goal of the season gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Two minutes later, McDonogh senior midfielder Christine Coroneos (five goals, six assists) tied the game.
And just 1:45 after that, the Eagles led 2-1 when sophomore Laurie Schwoy -- the area's top scorer with 35 goals and 14 assists -- scored the first of her two goals.
Schwoy's game-winning second goal was scored with nine minutes left in the game -- less than a minute after Loch Raven's Mary Edwards (five goals, 15 assists) had tied the game at 2.
On the final goal, Schwoy got to a rebound of her initial shot an instant before teammate Kara Cristaldi. She knocked in the rebound, which had been blocked by keeper Terry Hendricks (12 saves).
McDonogh had trailed similarly in an earlier 3-1 win over No. 12 Mercy, only to take a permanent lead, 2-1, four minutes later.
"When they [Raiders] scored the first time, I knew we'd come back. When they scored again, we knew we'd come back," said Coroneos, one of five seniors on McDonogh's roster. "These kinds of games keep us in reality. We needed this to wake us up."
And it was Harry who delivered the wake-up call.
Standing at the far post on a corner kick from Bridget Harthausen, Harry raced unchallenged to the other post when Harthausen delivered the cross. After trapping it with her right foot, Harry turned and placed a low, left-footed shot past keeper Sarah Manekin (three saves), who was screened by a cluster of players.
"I saw the corner wide open, and there was a big hole between the post and the goalie," said Harry, who had missed twice earlier. "The fullback thought I was going to put it back out, but I just brought it back in."
The Eagles otherwise have cruised past their opponents, out-scoring them 60-10 with seven shutouts, including a 3-0 win in a second meeting against Mercy.
An overtime loser to Oakland Mills in last year's 2A state title game, the Raiders (8-1) had allowed just three goals with five shutouts behind standout freshman sweeper Nicole Froman (five goals, two assists), stopper Susan Giannaccini (five, four) and Hendricks.
McDonogh, meanwhile, had its hands full with a Raiders offense that has produced 62 goals behind Harry, Edwards, Harthausen (eight goals, four assists) and Kim Allen (six, four).
But All-Metro sweeper Alison Schroeder and fullbacks Liz French, Alaina Lawson and Alexandra Williamson answered the call.
"They wanted it bad and we wanted it bad. We both held our own," said Schroeder. "Our coaches said it would be a dog fight and it was."
McDonogh had an advantage in shots (30-14) and corner kicks (5-2), but Hendricks established her presence with stops on six of their first seven attempts, finishing with eight first-half saves.