Mc­Donogh de­feated in na­tional show­case fi­nale

But Ea­gles happy to assem­ble once more

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Glenn Gra­ham

At Blandair Re­gional Park in Columbia the past cou­ple days, wicked shots turned into goals or big saves, face­offs were fiercely con­tested and bat­tles for ground balls were won.

Lacrosse was be­ing played at the eighth an­nual STX Na­tional High School Lacrosse Show­case — fol­low­ing COVID-19 safety mea­sures — and the Ea­gles team rep­re­sent­ing Mc­Donogh made sure to make the most of the op­por­tu­nity.

Reach­ing the ti­tle game with wins over In­di­ana-power Cul­ver Academy and Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion ri­val Dons Squad of Loy­ola Blake­field ear­lier on Fri­day, the Ea­gles fell short to Con­necti­cut-based Taft in the late af­ter­noon ti­tle game, 11-3.

But for the Ea­gles, the chance to once again wear the team’s orange was sa­vored time. Be­cause the 2020 se­nior class missed out on its spring sea­son, the show­case per­mit­ted grad­u­ated se­niors one last chance to play with t heir high school team­mates.

“I’m su­per grate­ful that Coach [Andy] Hil­gar­t­ner let us come out here be­cause us se­niors haven’t got­ten to play since mid-March,” said re­cent grad­u­ate Scott Cole, who is set to play at Le­high. “Hear­ing that the [spring] sea­son was can­celed was probably the most dis­ap­point­ing news be­cause we worked so hard this year and we re­ally felt it was our year to win it all.

“So it’s been great to see these guys again [this week]. I wouldn’t trade it for any­thing. I love these guys more than any­thing.”

For the sec­ond time in as many days, Taft got the bet­ter of the Mc­Donogh side, also claim­ing an 11-7 win in Thurs­day’s pool play.

With Fri­day’s ti­tle game tied at 2-2 to­ward the lat­ter stage of the 24-minute first half, Taft rat­tled off four straight goals in a four­minute stretch to take a 6-2 half­time lead. The Con­necti­cut side opened the sec­ond-half scor­ing with two straight goals and

the ad­van­tage was never chal­lenged.

Lu­cas Baehr, John Du­das and Hugh Brown had the goals for the Ea­gles.

“I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to be play­ing with the Baltimore Crabs [club team], so it’s been pretty nor­mal re­cently, but ob­vi­ously play­ing with Mc­Donogh it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent,” said Du­das, a ris­ing se­nior. “I came out here with a goal to just have fun. … Ob­vi­ously, things didn’t go our way [in the ti­tle game], but we’re get­ting ready for next spring.

“It’s more than just a lacrosse team — it’s a cul­ture and we live by the word ‘pride.’ That means so much to us and our pro­gram — just go­ing out every day giv­ing it our all and hav­ing as much fun as we can. I wouldn’t trade it for any­thing.”

Ear­lier on Fri­day, the Ea­gles claimed a 9-7 semi­fi­nal win over Dons Squad.

In lead­ing from start to fin­ish, Mc­Donogh scored the game’s first four goals, led 6-3 at the half and thwarted the Dons’ come­back bid with some fine de­fense. With their lead cut to 8-6 with 5 min­utes, 30 sec­onds to play, the Ea­gles killed off a one-minute penalty and then got a goal from Brown with 2:41 left to se­cure the win.

Cole led the of­fense, open­ing the scor­ing in each half to fin­ish with two goals. McCabe Mil­lon also scored twice for the win­ners.

The Dons got a two-goal, one-as­sist ef­fort from ris­ing se­nior Matt Dixon.

The show­case fea­tured 21 teams — in­clud­ing Calvert Hall and Boys’ Latin — from 11 states and Wash­ing­ton, with pool play open­ing Thurs­day.

GLENN GRA­HAM/BALTIMORE SUN

The Ea­gles lacrosse club, made up of play­ers from Mc­Donogh School, fin­ished as run­ner-up in a na­tional show­case played in Columbia.

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