Maryland: McDonogh Downs Boys' Latin For First MIAA Title Since 2005
The McDonogh Eagles completed an undefeated run through the MIAA "A" Conference Friday night, downing Boys' Latin 8-5 in yet another display of defensive excellence and efficient offense.
It was the first MIAA "A" Conference title for the Eagles since 2005, and big redemption after they were ousted in the finale last year by a hot St. Mary's team. This game was a rematch of one of the best matchups of the year in the MIAA or nationally, as these two Super 25-ranked powerhouses battled to a 10-9 double-overtime finish on May 3. McDonogh walked away with that close win.
Friday night at Johns Hopkins' storied Homewood Field in Baltimore, McDonogh was able to jump out to an early 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and then held a 4-3 lead at halftime, also holding an advantage in shots, but scoring three of its goals in transition up to that point.
The Eagles defense, led by a collection of Divison I-bound athletes, kept the skilled Boys' Latin shooters on the perimeter for much of the game, and that's where a number of fastbreaks were sparked as the range and speed of the group resulted in caused turnovers that quickly went the other way.
On the other end of the field, McDonogh got in important jolt when it got two consecutive goals from Jason Sarro in the third quarter, pulling ahead 6-3 on the Lakers. It was that series, two goals in about a minute, that gave the Eagles all the momentum and confidence to keep pressing out as the Lakers scrambled to get comfortable on the offensive end, with little if any interior penetration against the athletic McDonogh D.
Jackson Morrill and Jack Parr each registered a goal and two assists in the win, while Lanier finished with seven saves.
His counterpart, Jack Pezzulla -- who was presented with the conference's award as the most outstanding netminder of the year -- made a flurry of big saves throughout the game, keeping the Lakers within reach for most of the game.
But in the end, Boys' Latin couldn't get enough going late in the fourth quarter and the Eagles held on, and in the process finished the year with only one loss, an 8-7 loss to Bullis (Md.) back on March 24. Ranked No. 2 in the most recent USA Today High School Sports Super 25 rankings, the Eagles will stay there for the remainder of the season. The Lakers, currently ranked No. 5 in the rankings, finish the season at 14-4.
We caught up with Lanier and defender Zeke Narcise after the big win, and you can see those interviews here. You can also see some action shots we caught before it got too dark, as well as some of the scenery after the win.