If the announced 1,023 at the PNC Lacrosse Invitational on Saturday were not wet enough after the opener of the doubleheader between No. 4 St. Paul's and Haverford (Pa.), they surely were soaked by the second game of the event, featuring No. 2 McDonogh and Gonzaga (D.C.).
Representing the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic association A Conference, McDonogh showed sure footing, even in the rain, against the three-time defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions.
The Eagles (7-1) snapped a 2-2 tie with a pair of goals by junior attackman Robert Clark and one each by sophomore midfielder Barrett Sutley and sophomore attackman Jackson Morrill to take a 6-2 halftime advantage on the way to a 10-7 victory.
The win gave the Baltimore teams a split, with St. Paul's having squandered a 4-0 lead in a 9-8 defeat to Haverford in the first game.
McDonogh, which fell for the first time this season Thursday in a loss to Culver Academy (Ind.), proved it could bounce back after Gonzaga played the Eagles even in the first quarter.
The Washington school took an early lead on a goal by junior midfielder Liam Fitzpatrick before goals by Sutley and senior attacklman Trey McGee gave McDonogh its first edge, 2-1, with 6:22 left in the first quarter. Junior attackman Timmy Monahan tied it for Gonzaga before the Eagles went on a 6-0 run.
After the four-goal outburst in the second quarter, they added goals from junior midfielder Robby Black and junior attackman Bobby Austin to build an 8-2 margin with 8:44 left in the thirdBy that time, a comeback was highly unlikely, considering Gonzaga needed more than 16 minutes after its second goal to score its third.
That wasn't the night's only long offensive drought.
St. Paul's had an even longer scoreless streak against Haverford, a barren stretch after a defensive realignment that hurt the Crusders against the Fords (4-2).
“They went zone after the first quarter, and I think it confused us,” St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato said. “We just didn't move well with the ball and we didn't move well without the ball, and those are things we typically do well.”
The Crusaders certainly started quickly enough, surging ahead on two goals by senior attackman Mikey Wynne and one each by junior attackman Carter Flaig and sophomore attackman Joe Pollard to take a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
The second quarter, though, was a different story. St. Paul's needed five saves by sophomore goalkeeper A.J. Barretto in the period to hold the surging Fords to just a goal.
Even so, the Philadelphia school controlled time of possession, fired 11 shots on Barretto and won the battle of ground balls 12-8.
The Fords' momentum spilled over into the third quarter as well, solving senior goalie Hunter Pearl — who typically splits time with Barretto — twice in the first 6:41 on goals by senior attackman Forry Smith and sophomore attackman Dox Aitken to creep back within a goal.
They tied it with 1:34 left in the period on junior midfielder Drew Supinski's left-handed bouncer.
After that, the teams took turns scoring fourth-quarter goals: senior midfielder Henry Riehl and junior midfielder Alex McGovern for St. Paul's and junior attackmen Shane McBride and Grant Ament for the Fords.
But the visitors took their first lead with 5:13 remaining in the game on Smith's second goal before the Crusaders drew even on Flaig's unassisted goal.
The Fords' go-ahead score came with 1:57 left, when junior attackman Brandon Shima converted a feed from Ament, and Smith tacked on another one with 13 seconds to go.
McGovern's goal off the ensuing faceoff ended the contest, with the Crusaders just falling short.
Haverford coach John Nostrant “told me that's the first time his kids really competed hard this season.” Brocato said. “I just think their kids wanted the game more than our kids.”
McDonogh 10, Gonzaga (D.C.) 7
Goals: G—Monahan 5, Fitzpatrick, Myers; M—Austin 2, Black 2, Clark 2, Sutley 2, McGee, Morrill. Assists: G—Vassos; SP—McGee 4, Clark 3, Austin, Black, Morrill. Saves: G—Christopher 5; SP—Stover 5. Half: M, 6-2.
Haverford (Pa.) 9, St. Paul's 8
Goals: H— Smith 3, Ament, Aitken, McBride, Richards, Shima, Supinski; SP— Flaig 2, McGovern 2, Wynne 2, Pollard, Riehl. Assists: H— Ament 3, McBride 2, Shima 2; SP— Anderson 2, Wynne 2, Flaig, Mattheiss, McGovern. Saves: H—DeMarco 10; SP—Barretto 8, Pearl 4. Half: SP 4-1.