A week after failing to score in a lopsided loss to top-ranked Archbishop Spalding, the McDonogh field hockey team on Tuesday took the field against host Notre Dame Prep looking for a reset. And, on this day, a new offensive game plan and a renewed sense of confidence went a long way.
Ditching their long drives in favor of more precise lateral passing, the No. 15 Eagles dominated from start to finish, getting a pair of goals each from senior Kori Edmondson and junior Piper Borz in a 4-0 win over the No. 10 Blazers in a key early-season matchup in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
“We needed a reset after losing to a very good Spalding team,” Edmondson said of last week’s 5-0 loss. “Today we came prepared. Everybody thinks we’re the big underdog, but as a team we were ready.”
That was evident from the outset. Facing a Notre Dame Prep team starting two seniors, one junior and the rest sophomores and freshmen, McDonogh (3-1 overall, 1-1 conference) put constant pressure on the goal, taking seven of eight penalty corners in the first half, and drawing 11 for the game.
Only the stellar play of sophomore goalie Kerigan Ross (10 saves) kept the Blazers (4-1, 1-1) within striking distance.
“We focused a lot on correcting mistakes we made against Spalding. We knew our long drives weren’t working, so we had to go in and out,” Eagles coach Eva Winiarski said. “We were hungry today … aggressive and proactive. We just wanted to rebound.”
After coming close a handful of times, McDonogh got on the board with 8:04 left in the first half when Borz scored on a hard shot from the left side. She then followed four minutes later by scoring off her own rebound to make it 2-0.
Edmondson, a multi-sport standout who will continue her career with the University of Maryland lacrosse team, then added a pair of goals in a span of 4:42 in the third quarter to seal the win.
“We had really good support to get near the goal, to get in a good position to score,” Borz said. “Against Spalding, we didn’t come out and give our best. We knew we could do better.”
It marked McDonogh’s first win over Notre Dame Prep since the 2016 A Conference championship game when the Eagles scored the contest’s only goal on an untimed penalty corner after regulation time had expired.
These days, the Blazers are in rebuilding mode, following the graduation of 13 seniors.
“Every game that we’re going into from an IAAM perspective is a learning game,” NDP coach Katrina Ross said. “At one point I looked back on defense and had two freshmen and a sophomore, and a sophomore in the cage. From a marking perspective, we’ve already grown. It was some of the best marking we’ve done yet.”
McDonogh 4, Notre Dame Prep 0
Goals: M — Borz 2, Edmondson 2
Saves: M — Busse 6; NDP — Ross 10
Half: McDonogh, 2-0