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No. 1 McDonogh makes most of rest, rolls past No. 3 Glenelg Country in girls lacrosse

No. 1 McDonogh makes most of rest, rolls past No. 3 Glenelg Country in girls lacrosse
McDonogh's Lila Huddles, keeps the ball out of reach of Glenelg's Addison Schmidt, left, and Neve O'Ferrall in second half of the Eagles' 20-8 victory in IAAM A Conference girls lacrosse action. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Top-ranked McDonogh spent the better part of the past month gutting its way through a brutal schedule in which the Eagles played 11 games in 24 days. Few were easy, including late come-from-behind wins over conference foe St. Paul’s and nationally ranked Manhasset (N.Y.) and Bishop Ireton (Va.).

On Tuesday, the nation’s consensus No. 1 team finally found its elixir. Playing on five days’ rest for just the third time this season, the host Eagles smothered No. 3 Glenelg Country from the outset, building a 16-goal lead early in the second half and cruising to a 20-8 win.

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“A couple days of rest was just what our bodies needed to get re-energized,” McDonogh’s Ella Little said.

Little and Towson-bound midfielder Blair Pearre each scored three goals to go along with two each from Kayla Abernathy, Lila Huddles (Vanderbilt), Gabby Stapleton and Emma Schettig (Maryland), as McDonogh scored on each of its first five possessions to quickly turn what was expected to be a close game into a 17-1 lead and rout.

“Our main focus this whole entire season has been to get a jump start into the game,” Pearre said. “I think today we had everyone playing great — defense, midfield, offense.”

Time and again, McDonogh won ground balls, then turned them into fast breaks or free positions at the other end.

Glenelg's Caroline Rehder, left, and McDonogh's Dakota Uy reach for control in IAAM A Conference girls lacrosse.
Glenelg's Caroline Rehder, left, and McDonogh's Dakota Uy reach for control in IAAM A Conference girls lacrosse. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

“We just really stepped on the gas right from the beginning,” Little said. “When our bench and our field players come out with a lot of energy right from the beginning, it tends to carry over for our entire game. That’s what sort of triggers us to have a great game.”

McDonogh (15-0, 11-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference), has won 213 of its past 214 games. On Thursday, the Eagles get a shot to avenge their only loss during that span, a 10-8 defeat to Notre Dame Prep in last year’s A Conference final.

Despite the Blazers’ 9-7 upset loss to St. Mary’s on Tuesday, the rematch, set for 7 p.m. at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, still will have great importance to the Eagles, who can clinch the top-seed in next month’s IAAM tournament.

Winning Tuesday in such dominant fashion will only help in that pursuit.

“We had the opportunity to play a lot of different people — rest our starters and give our second and third lines some time,” Eagles coach Taylor Cummings said. “That helps with team camaraderie, it helps with getting people excited to play. Now it’s just time to refocus and get ready for NDP.”

For Glenelg Country (12-4, 8-2), the anemic start was almost beyond explanation. The Dragons came in having won seven straight, including a 10-9 win last week over defending conference champion Notre Dame Prep.

Maryland-bound senior Kate Sites led the Dragons with three goals, but they managed just one goal in the first 31:39.

“Obviously McDonogh’s a very good team, but I’m not happy about the way we came out and competed,” Dragons co-coach Brian Reese said. “I thought we were too lackadaisical and we weren’t ready to compete. You do that against a good team like that, and they’re going to beat you pretty bad.”

Glenelg Country still has the inside track for the tournament’s No. 2 seed. Given that, Reese knows that a quick reboot could bring a playoff rematch with the Eagles or Blazers.

“We saw glimpses that when we do the right thing we play well,” Reese said. “When we don’t, other teams look really good against us. We’ve just got to get back to kind of the fundamentals and basics.”

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Goals: GC — Sites 3, Pell, Marszal, Ahearn, Bateman, Weisman; M — Pearre 3, Little 3, Abernathy 2, Huddles 2, Stapleton 2, Schettig 2, Robinson, Jacobstein, Wesker, Cunneen, Yospa, Uy. Assists: GC — Pell, Bateman; M — Abernathy 2, Huddles 2, Pearre, Godine, Dorsey, Marsh. Saves: GC — Dyer 5; M — Hammerschlag 1, Geoghan 2. Half: McDonogh 15-1.

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