Top-ranked McDonogh has grown accustomed to blowing out opponents this season, so after building a seven-goal lead Wednesday over No. 4 Notre Dame Prep midway through the second half, the Eagles appeared to be on their way to another decisive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference victory.
The host Blazers, however, had other plans and continued to chip away with four unanswered goals beginning with 10:30 left in the game. Covie Stanwick's fourth goal cut the margin to one with 1:34 remaining, but McDonogh held on for a 12-11 victory.
"When we got up 11-4, I think our kids thought the blowout was on," McDonogh coach Chris Robinson said. "Give NDP credit because they didn't quit. They made a comeback, and it was a little hard for us to get the momentum back. In a game like that at their home field, our kids really hung strong and pulled it out."
Taylor Cummings and Brooks Lawler each had three goals for the Eagles (8-0 overall, 7-0 league), and Jen Cook added two. Sydney Peterson had three goals for NDP (8-2, 5-2). The Eagles won eight draws to five for NDP. However, the Blazers won the ground-ball battle, 9-7.
With the game tied at four with 11:09 left in the first half, Cummings scored twice and Margaret Smith added one in a three-minute span to let the Eagles take a 7-4 lead into the break.
McDonogh began to pull away in the second half as Lawler also scored twice and Samantha Burgess and Cook once each to give the Eagles an 11-4 lead with 14:30 left.
"I think we kind of got complacent and thought that we could just keep going," Lawler said. "They are definitely a good team and can step up whenever they need to. I think we just needed to get the draws and not let them come back at all."
But goals by the Blazers' Erin Seipp, Hannah Hartman, Stanwick and Peterson cut the margin to 11-8 with 6:11 left. A goal by Hannah Franklin gave the Eagles a four-goal cushion with 5:21 left. However, two more goals by Stanwick and another by Peterson gave the Blazers hope just before time expired.
"They are good athletes and they are not quitters. They hit the snooze button there for a while, but they kind of woke back up," NDP coach Mary Bartel said. "Give them credit. They won the 50-50 balls in the midfield. It was a great game."