The perfect birthday present
Akers scores six goals to lead McDonough girls lax past Lackey
Well that is one way to celebrate your special day.
On her 18th birthday, senior midfielder Morgan Akers led McDonough with six goals as it cruised to a 15-4 victory over the visiting Lackey Chargers in Wednesday evening’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division lacrosse matchup.
The night seemed destined for the Duke University commit to shine from the start as she scored the first goal of the game just 13 seconds into the game. But she wasn’t done there. Akers followed that up with a hat trick with five minutes left in the first half to give the Rams a 7-3 halftime lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
The special day couldn’t have been more fitting for Akers. Her teammates wished her a happy birthday immediately following the game.
“Our program has come so far over the year,” said Akers, a four-year starter. “And I’m so proud that we won on my birthday, which makes it even better. I was a little nervous early on because Lackey came out strong, but I knew that we would pick it up in the second half.”
Akers wasn’t alone in having a special day as junior Savanah Paton, a Winthrop University commit, also had an impressive offensive showing with five goals on the day. And to top it off, Paton was asked by Marc Landicho of the boys lacrosse team if she wanted to attend the McDonough prom.
“The game turned out well for us, but it was very frantic at the beginning. We weren’t playing like ourselves and communicating,” Paton said. “We just have to come out with more
energy and play like we did in the second half and we will be fine.”
After the first goal of the game was scored, the teams traded goals and the contest was tied at 3 with 9 minutes 30 seconds left in the first half.
The tides quickly turned as McDonough (5-5, 3-2 SMAC Chesapeake) scored 12 unanswered goals before Lackey got on the board for its final goal of the game in the final two minutes of the game.
Despite being battle tested halfway through the first half, things began to click for the Rams as they were in full control the rest of the way thanks to nifty passes and quick slashing scores to go with a strong defensive effort.
“This year we have the most players we’ve ever had come out for lacrosse and I think it is from doing stuff like this like birthday celebrations and other cool things to keep the girls together,” said McDonough head coach James Akers, whose team hosted Westlake on Thursday to cap off the regular season before the regional playoffs start. “Morgan and Savannah are the most experienced players out here and they are playing well and leading the other girls and that is what we need.”
Lilianna Tschudi contributed with two goals, while Yanelle Montilla and Emily Edwards each scored one goal.
Lackey’s goals were scored on the day by Kayla Nagle, J’lah Watson, Blaire Harley and Ashley Herbert.
McDonough goalie Olivia Whorl finished with six saves in the win, while Lackey’s Courtney Kruchesky finished with eight saves.
“Honestly we have small roster and we only carry 15 players, I just thought we started getting tired,” Lackey head coach Dan Nagle said. “Coach Akers is a great coach and made some adjustments and started working some plays. I have some inexperienced girls and we have been focusing on the basics. I proud of them, they play with heart and hustle everyday and you can’t ask for anything more.”
The Chargers (2-9, 1-4) are scheduled to wrap up the regular season at 6 tonight at home versus St. Charles.
Lackey’s Kayla Nagle, left, and McDonough’s Morgan Akers battle for a loose ball in the air from the face-off in Wednesday’s SMAC Potomac Division girls lacrosse game. Akers scored six goals on her 18th birthday in the Rams’ 15-4 win.
McDonough’s Lilianna Tschudi takes a shot toward Lackey goalie Courtney Kruchesky in Wednesday’s SMAC Potomac Division girls lacrosse game. Tschudi finished with two goals in the Rams 15-4 win.