McDonogh's second-ranked girls lacrosse team was scheduled to open this week with one of the toughest stretches of its season, back-to-back games with No. 5 John Carroll and No. 4 Bryn Mawr.
Rain, however, postponed Monday's game at John Carroll until April 30, giving the Eagles a chance to better prepare for the Mawrtians.
The Eagles certainly were ready yesterday, handing Bryn Mawr its first defeat of the season, 7-2. McDonogh (11-1 overall) remains the only unbeaten team in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference at 9-0.
"I think [the postponement] definitely helped because we got to focus on one game and not two back-to-back," the Eagles' Caroline Spearman said.
From the start yesterday, the host Eagles dominated possession and ran a patient set offense that created openings in a good Mawrtians defense.
"It started on the draw," Spearman said. "We knew that they had a really good center [Allie Emala] and we had to get the draw to control the game. In the beginning, we got the first few draws and took it down on attack. We just had to be calm and not rush it to goal. We worked it around and waited for the perfect opportunity to take it to goal."
Colby Rhea, Maria Fortino, Kirstyn Atkinson, Kira Paterakis and Casey Kelly put the Eagles up 5-0 by the half. The Mawrtians managed just three shots in the half, mostly because they couldn't get the ball.
"The whole game, we didn't have it much," Bryn Mawr coach Wendy Kridel said. "We forced and got rid of it at times when we really should have possessed it longer. Right there's the name of the game."
When the Mawrtians (10-1, 7-1) did get the ball, the Eagles kept them off balance. McDonogh defender Carly Napora face-guarded stellar attacker Jordy Kirr, shutting her out of the Mawrtians' offense almost the entire game.
To open the second half, Bryn Mawr's Sarah Matz scored two goals, cutting the lead to 5-2, but the Mawrtians again struggled with possession. Spearman and Kelly finished off the scoring for the Eagles.