It took John Carroll awhile yesterday to figure out McDonogh's double-teaming defense, but once the No. 3 Patriots did, they were unstoppable.
In the second half, the Patriots dominated the draws, ate up huge chunks of time and found the open player to score, taking a 14-8 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference victory at No. 4 McDonogh.
The two unbeaten teams were tied at 6 at the half before the defending tournament champion Patriots (6-0, 4-0 conference) took off on an 8-2 tear. For 22 minutes, they scored every time they won the draw, and they won 17 of 24 in the game.
The Eagles tried to pressure John Carroll into turnovers by double-teaming the ball on the attacking end, especially when Allyson Carey, Casey Ancarrow, Grace Gaeng or Brittany Dashiell had possession, but the entire attack proved adept at finding the girl left unmarked. They scored on eight straight shots, and five of them were assisted goals.
"I think once we figured out where the double was coming from and who the open girl was, we could move in the correct direction," Carey said. "We kind of just worked off of each other and found the open girl for the shot."
Through most of the first half, the Eagles (3-1 overall and conference) never trailed as Colby Rhea and Kitty Cullen gave them a 3-1 lead, but early in the second half, the Patriots started finding the hole in the defense. Carey, who finished with three goals and four assists, fed Anne Brockmeyer and then Brockmeyer found Dashiell for an 8-6 Patriots lead less than three minutes into the second half.
Katie Matz's goal kept the Eagles within 9-8 with 16:09 to go, but the Eagles wouldn't manage another shot for 13 minutes. By then, the Patriots had scored five more times for a 14-8 lead.
"It came down to draw control," Eagles coach Chris Robinson said. "They had the ball probably a good 80 percent of the second half, so we just gave them way too many opportunities. I credit them; they played a great game. Allyson Carey did a phenomenal job off the draw and they definitely exploited some breakdowns we had defensively."