When third-ranked McDonogh and No. 7 St. Mary’s last met in a MIAA A Conference lacrosse playoff game, the 2015 league title was on the line at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field. That night, the upstart Saints surprised the top-ranked Eagles, 13-8, and claimed the school’s first lacrosse title since 1993.
The following season, however, St. Mary’s went careening down the backside of the roller coaster, going winless in MIAA league play, while McDonogh, returned to the title game and captured its first MIAA A Conference crown since 2005.
Friday in Owings Mills, with St. Mary’s back on the ascent, the two teams met in a quarterfinal contest for a slot in the semifinals, back at Hopkins.
Unfortunately for St. Mary’s, the only thing that really troubled the Eagles on Friday was the weather, as the game experience three lightning stoppages totaling three hours and 15 minutes and it was after 9:00 p.m. when the Eagles put the finishing touches on a 22-6 victory in a contest that was slated to get underway at 4:30 p.m.
When the marathon finally ended, 11 different Eagles put the ball in the back of the net, with Liam Powderly and Jack Parr leading the way with four goals and two assists each.
The first delay came before the opening whistle and lasted 60 minutes. When play got underway, McDonogh’s Jack Simmons broke the ice at the 9:10 mark to give the Eagles the early 1-0 lead. Taylor Bohanan responded with an unassisted score for St. Mary’s, midway through the quarter, to tie the game, but the Saints’ momentum was short lived.
McDonogh (16-3) scored four unanswered goals, including two by Parr, to end the first quarter with a 5-1 lead. In the opening seconds of the second quarter, George Ward, who had three goals and two assists in the contest, stretched McDonogh’s lead to 6-1. Before the next face-off could take place, the lightning alert system sounded and the game was halted again, this time for 30 minutes.
When play resumed, Powderly scored his first two goals of the game and the Eagles scored four more in succession to build their lead to 12-1.
John Marquez finally got St. Mary’s back on the board, with 3:15 to play in the opening half, but McDonogh scored four of the next five goals to go to the half with a commanding 13-3 lead.
Both teams scored early in the third quarter before Mother Nature made another appearance. Despite some scattered rain drops, the entire game was played in dry conditions, but the problem was the flashes and rumbles in the sky.
The third delay lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes before the teams finally got back on the field, with 4:36 to go in the third quarter. With primarily reserves on the field for both teams, the contest was finally concluded and McDonogh had punched its ticket into Monday’s semifinals (7:30 p.m.) at Johns Hopkins against second-seeded Boys’ Latin, which had a bye.
“It’s going to be a great challenge,” said McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner of his team’s pending battle with BL. “It’s a great opportunity for us. We’re excited to get back to Hopkins. To be one of the last four teams to play in the league is a great achievement for any team. We have a great opponent in BL to play. They had our number last time, so we’re looking forward to seeing them again.”
Also having big days for McDonogh were senior Tye Mitchell (2 goals), Jackson Bonitz (2 goals, 1 assist) and Dane Swanson (2 goals). Jack Sweeney added two goals and one assist, while Burnett, Jack Simmons, Nolan Munafo, Romain Mantelli and Lee Ingram scored once each.
“We’ve been playing well lately and today we continued that,” added Hilgartner. “We were able to score a couple of good goals in transition early and that helped us. It was a very balanced effort and our defense made some nice plays, so it was a good overall team effort.”
Despite Friday’s lopsided loss, St. Mary’s (13-7) have come a long way in a short period of time, returning to the playoffs after an 0-9 league record and just one win overall in 2016.
In Monday’s other semifinal, top-seeded Calvert Hall will face fifth-seeded Loyola, which defeated fourth-seeded St. Paul’s, 9-4, on Friday.
MIAA A CONFERENCE LACROSSE QUARTERFINALS
NO. 3 MCDONOGH 22, NO. 7 ST. MARY’S 6
SM 1 2 2 1 — 6
MCD 5 8 6 3 — 22
GOALS: SM-Bohanan 1, Marquez 1, Hayburn 1, Krampf 1, Woolridge 1, Smith 1; McD-Powderly 4, Parr 4, Ward 3, T. Mitchell 2, Bonitz 2, Swanson 2, Sweeney 2, Munafo 1, Mantelli 1, Ingram 1.
ASSISTS: SM-Nilsen 1; McD-Parr 2, Powderly 2, Ward 2, Catlett 1, Bonitz 1, Wilson 1, Dion 1, Sweeney 1.
SAVES: SM-Fyock 5, Ellis 2; McD-Long 2, Abramson 1, Scarborough 1.