More Honors Pour In For McDonogh And Cummings
By Keith Mills
The McDonogh girls' lacrosse team ended the season the way it started -- ranked No. 1 in the country.
The Eagles, coached by Chris Robinson, finished a unanimous No. 1 in the final ESPNHS Rise Fab 50 poll, while the team they beat for the IAAM A Conference championship finished third.
McDonogh beat Maryvale Prep, 9-8, last month at Stevenson University for its fourth straight conference championship and its 69th straight win.
Led by seniors Taylor Cummings and Corinne Etchison, the Eagles once again finished the year unbeaten, winning the A Conference and defeating other nationally ranked teams, such as Garden City of New York and Century High of Carroll County.
"We never worried about the national rankings," Cummings said after the A Conference championship win. "That was not our goal. Our goal was to get better each game and really work hard in practice and keep improving as a team."
"There's a lot of outside pressure to win," Robinson said, "but I think we've done a really good job of focusing on the next game -- coaching staff and players. We don't talk about the past championships. We just talk about the next game. I know there's a tremendous amount of pressure on them, but it's just been fun. It's been a fun ride and having seniors like we have in Corinne and Taylor -- all of the seniors -- it's just been a tremendous ride."
McDonogh will lose 12 seniors, while Maryvale, coached by Jessica Randisi, will lose nine. The Lions finished the year 13-4 and ranked third nationally behind No. 2 Moorestown of New Jersey.
Junior goalie Caroline Federico, Sam Darcangelo, Samantha Aiello, Emma Tizard, Amanda Bochniak, Elena McKnight and Miranda Aibello led Maryvale's championship run, which came up just one win and one goal shy of claiming the school's first title in 10 years.
Bryan Mawr of the A Conference finished fourth in the final poll, one spot ahead of St. Anthony's of South Hampton, N.Y., and two ahead of Century, which ended its season two weeks ago at UMBC by winning the Class 3A/2A public schools state championship, 12-9, over Queen Anne's. It was the third state title during the last four years for the Knights, coached by Becky Groves, and their fifth in the last nine years.
The Knights finished with an 18-1 record. Their lone loss was a 15-8 setback to McDonogh in April. Junior Haley Bordner scored five goals during the state championship win and returns next year along with juniors Morgan Marrale (committed to Old Dominion) and Kailey Wolfe (Penn).
Bryan Mawr, coached again this year by Wendy Kridel and Kim Simons, finished the year 16-2, losing only to McDonogh during the regular season and Maryvale in the A conference semifinals. Senior goalie Molly Wolf, who is headed to Loyola; senior Kate Walker (Yale); and juniors Eliza Clemens (Vanderbilt), Ellie Knott (Denver) and Kate Snouffer (Georgetown) led the Mawrtians to yet another outstanding season.
Joining McDonogh, Maryvale, Bryn Mawr and Century in ESPN's top 50 teams are Severna Park (13), Notre Dame Prep (37), St. Paul's (38), Roland Park (41), C. Milton Wright (44), Marriotts Ridge (46), South River (47) and Catonsville (48).
Severna Park beat Westminster to win the Class 4A/3A state championship, its 11th under coach Carin Peterson.
McDonogh's Taylor Cummings was also named ESPN's top player. She led the Eagles to championships in soccer, basketball and lacrosse this past year and was named The Baltimore Sun's Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Against Maryvale, she scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds left, giving the Eagles their 9-8 win.
"Was she getting the ball?" Robinson said about the final play against Maryvale. "There was no doubt. If she doesn't get the ball, I should be fired as coach. She's a clutch player and she'll continue to do that at Maryland."
Cummings was one of four McDonogh players to be named among ESPN's top 50 players in the final rankings. The others were senior Elizabeth Bannantine (13, Princeton), Corinne Etchison (37, Georgetown) and Sofia Robins (38, Boston University). Other local girls selected were Wolf of Bryn Mawr (12, Loyola), Erica Bodt of John Carroll (18, Syracuse), Brooke Boyd of St. Paul's (19, Virginia) and Kate Lazzeri of Fallston (40, Navy).
Calvert Hall finished seventh in the boys' final top 50, behind top-ranked Garden City (N.Y.), Fairport (N.Y.), Gonzaga (Washington, D.C); Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.), Haverford School (Pa.) and Conestoga High (Pa.).
The Cardinals beat Loyola, 17-3, to win the MIAA A Conference and end the year 16-2. Coach Brian Kelly loses some high-powered seniors, such as his nephew Patrick Kelly (North Carolina), Carter Brown and goalie Dimitri Pecunes. Returning will be some talented juniors in Garrett Epple, already committed to Notre Dame, and Stephen Kelly, another one of his nephews, who will join his cousin Patrick in North Carolina after he graduates next year.
Loyola (11), Gilman (16), Boys' Latin (25), Severn (37), McDonogh (38), Hereford (41) and St. Mary's of Annapolis (43) also made the final ESPN top 50 poll.
Case Matheis of Darien High in Connecticut was named the boys’ top-ranked player while Patrick Kelly of Calvert Hall and Spencer Parks of St. Paul's were selected as the third and fourth players in the country. Parks will join Kelly next year at North Carolina.
Other local players among the ESPN top 50 are: Loyola's Deemer Class (18, Duke) and Conor Dalton (49, Fairfield), Gilman's Jake Matthai (29, North Carolina) and Gordie Koerber (33, Denver), Hereford's Ted Demiris (35, Navy) and Calvert Hall's Evan Connell (50, North Carolina).
Posted June 4, 2012