Late McDonogh goal tops NDP

With time ex­pired, Whit­tle scores on penalty corner for 1-0 vic­tory over Blaz­ers

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Rich Scherr

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.”

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