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April 10, 2015 — PREVIEW: Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.)

At high noon in a small hamlet just north of Baltimore, the latest chapter in the remarkable run of form for the girls’ lacrosse team playing at Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) will be written. The seven-time defending IAAM Flight A champions are putting a 121-game undefeated streak on the line against Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Md.), a program which has risen to prominence in the last few seasons in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the Virginia Independent School Athletic Association. Indeed, the Cardinals are the current champions of the VISAA, having beaten longtime powerhouse Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) in the championship final a year ago.

The McDonogh-Ireton match is therefore a meeting of two sitting private-school state champions, and it’s begun to take on a life of its own in the rankings. McDonogh is No. 1 in most of the computer rankings and polls that chronicle girls’ lacrosse in America. Bishop Ireton is as high as No. 2 in some polls, albeit it is only 78th in the LaxPower.com computer rankings.

McDonogh is 9-0 on the season, and Ireton is 8-0. McDonogh has played six of its nine games in the IAAM, while Ireton has played only two games within the WCAC thus far. They have both played against Baltimore Roland Park (Md.); McDonogh won 18-14, and Ireton won 13-11 after extra time.

When McDonogh has the ball, it will rely on attacker Brindi Griffin, who is a selectee to the United States U-19 national team looking to play for an FIL World Cup this summer. Look also for center Kelsey Cummings to play a major role; the senior is the younger sister of the current Tewaaraton Trophy holder, Taylor Cummings. But the younger sister, committed to Maryland, may have more physical tools than her once and future teammate. Bishop Ireton will be relying on senior defenders Julie Hanson and Natalie Irwin in front of goalie Amelia Cole.

When Bishop Ireton has the ball, the dynamic Charlotte Sofield, committed to North Carolina, will command attention. Kelly Larkin and Kelly Matthews will also see plenty of the ball in the Cardinals’ attack. McDonogh’s defense will be led by senior goalie Gabby Cadoux along with center Maddie Jenner, who will have to play the game of her life due to an ankle injury suffered by her sister Olivia this weekend.

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