After late letdown, Cavs regroup, persevere
A lesser team would have crumbled under the circumstances, surrendering a tying goal to its fiercest rival off a penalty corner with no time left on the clock.
But the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion and No. 1 Archbishop Spalding field hockey team went about the business of controlling the overtime in Thursday’s showdown against No. 2 McDonogh in a rematch of last year’s title game. The host Cavaliers’ persistence paid off when sophomore forward Margot Lawn scored her second goal of the game with 3:05 left to play in the first 7-on-7, 10-minute overtime period for a 3-2 victory.
After going 17-0-1 and winning the league crown with a win over McDonogh last season, Spalding (3-1, 1-0 in the IAAM) was coming off an upset loss against South River on Tuesday that was decided on penalty strokes after overtime. The Cavaliers put the experience to good use against the Eagles (0-1), who got the tying goal from Katelyn Whittle to force the overtime.
“It was rough. But we went into overtime earlier this week against South River, and all of us knew in our hearts we didn’t want to lose another game that way,” Lawn said.
Hard work and skill came before Lawn’s goal in sweltering heat during the overtime. McDonogh’s Ryan Gillin, left, and Archbishop Spalding’s Payton Kenney fight for control of the ball. The Cavaliers improved to 3-1 with the win. The Eagles are 0-1. Spalding senior Mary-Mac Poulton came into the game with fresh legs to challenge and beat a defender to get the ball in the circle. She connected a pass across to Garden, who found Lawn open in front.
“I think the overtime we played Tuesday against South River prepared us for this,” Spalding coach Leslee Brady said.
While the Cavaliers were playing their fourth game of the season — they outscored Good Counsel and Chesapeake-AA by a combined 9-0 to open with two wins before Tuesday’s setback — the Eagles had the chore of opening their season on the road against the defending league champions.
They didn’t falter either, despite falling behind 2-0 when the Cavaliers, clearly outplayed in the first half, dominated the early part of the second half with goals from Garden and Lawn.