Yesterday, there were no signs of the jitters that had hampered John Carroll's No. 1 girls lacrosse team earlier in the week.
After struggling through nail-biting early rounds in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference tournament, the Patriots did what they do best yesterday, winning most of the draws and playing a well-oiled team game, to defeat No. 3 McDonogh, 11-6, for their second straight "A" title at St. Paul's.
"The pressure definitely got to us [last week]," Patriots All-Metro attacker Casey Ancarrow said. "Then today, there was a different feeling. We were more confident, more composed. We believed that we could win this game."
That showed all the way through as the Patriots won 15 of the first 16 draws and never trailed while putting the finishing touch on an 18-0 season.
Ancarrow had a goal and four assists while Brittany Dashiell and Grace Gaeng had three goals each. All-Metro midfielder Ally Carey handled all the draws and won six of them.
"It's unreal -- going undefeated the whole season and winning the championship and beating Mount Hebron," Ancarrow said. "It's just like a fairy-tale season. We couldn't ask for more."
Defensively, the Eagles double-teamed Carey, Ancarrow and Gaeng as they had in their 14-9 regular-season loss to the Patriots. The Patriots had used that to their advantage, often finding the open girl for a goal, but yesterday it wasn't quite so easy as the Eagles also pressured the ball harder everywhere in the attacking end.
"Last time, we were trying to double those big three, but they have a bunch of other talented players," Eagles defender Carly Napora said. "This time, we really wanted to pressure them more than double, because a lot of times when we did send the double, they burned us."
McDonogh rallied a couple of times, first to tie the game at 3 on Colby Rhea's goal with 9:30 left in the first half. That lasted about eight minutes until the Patriots scored three times in the final 1:20.
After the break, Katie Matz and Molly Fernandez pulled the Eagles to 6-5 in less than four minutes.
Then, Ancarrow took advantage of those Eagles double teams, finding the open girl three straight times. She fed Katie Kiriazoglou and then Gaeng twice for a 9-5 lead with 14:40 remaining.
Patriots goalkeeper Lauren McGehee made five of her nine saves after that, including a couple of point-blank stops that kept the Eagles from gaining any momentum.
The rest of the Patriots defense, led by Jennifer Eikenberg, Tori Pyzik and Mairead McGuirk did a great job of stifling McDonogh's quick one-on-one attack.
B Conference -- Garrison Forest polished off a 14-0 season by pulling away from a tie game in the final four minutes to beat Park, 13-10, for the B Conference crown. Alex Goldstein scored her fourth goal with 4:21 left for an 11-10 Grizzlies lead. Ana Heinrich and Liza Blue added insurance goals . Lucie Weinberg scored four times for the Bruins (12-3).
C Conference -- St. Vincent Pallotti, which two years ago won only two games, used an early five-goal lead to upset two-time defending champion Lutheran, 12-10, in the final. Carly Van Zanten scored two goals in a run before the half that boosted the Panthers' lead to 7-2. The Saints (11-2) rallied to 12-10 with 1:11 to go, but Pallotti freshman goalie Caroline Harvey ended the run with a huge save with 53 seconds left. firstname.lastname@example.org