The Washington Post

Rudolph sisters guide Falcons to their 12th crown

GOOD COUNSEL 12, BISHOP IRETON 10

- BY KYLE MELNICK

Good Counsel’s Madeleine Rudolph has long recognized the skill of her younger sister, Hannah.

Growing up, their one-on-one battles in the backyard of their Olney home were so physical that Hannah lost a tooth and Madeleine developed black eyes. Hannah is two years younger, but she was talented enough to play on Madeleine’s club lacrosse teams.

After Good Counsel’s 12-10 win over Bishop Ireton in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championsh­ip game Monday, the rest of the league must take note of Hannah’s flair, too. The sophomore midfielder scored half of Good Counsel’s goals at Maryland’s Ludwig Field, powering the Falcons to their first WCAC title since 2015 and the 12th in program history.

“When she has the ball, you know she’s going to do something with it,” attacker Kayleigh Page said. “If we can get the ball to Hannah, we know she’s going to go off.”

Good Counsel (17-4) had fallen to Ireton (12-8) in the previous four WCAC championsh­ip games. The teams have developed a rivalry over the past decade while combining to win 10 of the past 11 titles.

Madeleine Rudolph was the lone returner from the teams’ previous championsh­ip match

up, which came in 2019. Hannah Rudolph was familiar with the rivalry after watching that game from the Ludwig Field bleachers as a seventh-grader. It was a defeat that she said gutted her.

On Monday, Good Counsel trailed by one at halftime before Hannah Rudolph scored the first three goals of the second half.

After the third, Good Counsel students chanted, “You can’t guard her!”

“There was no way they were going to win,” she said. “I know I’m not letting them win, and I know nobody else is, either.”

Ireton had cut its deficit to 10-9 with 9:21 remaining when Hannah Rudolph gathered the ball off the draw near midfield, sprinted downfield and scored 11 seconds later. With 3:55 remaining, the Falcons turned to Page, a senior, to score the final goal.

“There’s definitely pressure because we were only up by one . . . but I knew my teammates had my back,” she said. “When it went in, I just wanted to hug my teammates and show them how much I appreciate them.”

The Falcons began the season 11-1, but Hannah Rudolph wasn’t sure they would reach Monday’s game after suffering losses to Georgetown Visitation and St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes last month. But Good Counsel finished undefeated in WCAC play.

For the Rudolph sisters, it was the perfect finale to a journey that began when they were toddlers.

“We feed off each other,” Madeleine Rudolph said. “If I’m not in the game, I trust her. If she’s not in the game, I know she trusts me.”

 ?? Julia Nikhinson for THE Washington Post ?? Good Counsel, which started the season 11-1 but suffered two defeats last month, won its first WCAC championsh­ip since 2015.
Julia Nikhinson for THE Washington Post Good Counsel, which started the season 11-1 but suffered two defeats last month, won its first WCAC championsh­ip since 2015.

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