The per­fect birth­day present

Ak­ers scores six goals to lead McDonough girls lax past Lackey

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

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.

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