Late McDonogh goal tops NDP
With time expired, Whittle scores on penalty corner for 1-0 victory over Blazers
Notre Dame Prep set out to win its first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference field hockey title Friday, but McDonogh had the last laugh.
On an untimed penalty corner after time had expired, sophomore Katelyn Whittle knocked in the game-winner after a scramble in front of the cage, sending the No. 5 Eagles to a 1-0 win over the No. 6 Blazers at Stevenson.
“It was right there in front of me and I just tried to push it in,” Whittle said. “I have no memory of it, but it was a great moment for our team that we stuck it out all the way to the end.”
McDonogh (15-5) finished the tourna- ment outscoring its three opponents by a combined 7-1, claiming its second championship in three years.
To get there, the Eagles had to survive a first half in which Notre Dame Prep (14-5) had the upper hand but couldn’t convert on any of its four corners.
“They came out so strong. They had us chasing, and the first 15 minutes of the game we couldn’t get the ball down our side,” said McDonogh coach Denise Wolf, whose team came on strong after halftime. “Our girls just had so much determination. We have 12 seniors on the team, and they were fighting for it. They wanted it.”
The two teams had split a pair of games during the regular season. This one appeared to be headed to overtime.
After Blazers senior goalie Lucy Lowe came out of the cage to cut down a pair of McDonogh scoring chances in the first half, the Eagles nearly took the lead when Parker Wolf sent a reverse shot just wide off a corner from Whittle with 6:17 left in regulation.
Both teams had their chances, but with time winding down, it was McDonogh that got one last opportunity when a foul in the circle triggered a penalty corner.
Even though time expired, a team is allowed to complete the play as long as the ball doesn’t travel outside the circle.
“You pull your entire team up on the circle, which you wouldn’t do normally, so it gives you the advantage of having all those girls in the circle,” Wolf said. “You kind of keep a wall to throw the ball back in.”
Senior Andie Aldave got credit for the assist on the game-winner, which came just two days after McDonogh eliminated top-seeded Archbishop Spalding, 3-1.
“We worked so hard this season,” Whittle said. “We beat Spalding, and now we’ve beaten NDP. It’s just so awesome. This is all we’ve been playing for this season.”