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BULLETIN: May 10, 2015 — Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 15, Baltimore Roland Park (Md.) 14

FINKSVILLE, Md. — The site of the 2015 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Division “A” championship game was the ultimate in unknowns for the participants because the host institution, Finksville Gerstell Academy (Md.), does not have a girls’ lacrosse team in the IAAM; the school instead participates in the Capital Area Lacrosse League alongside small academies, teams from predominantly African-American Prince George’s County, and even a catchall team for home-schooled students.

Baltimore Roland Park (Md.), one of the oldest varsity girls’ lacrosse programs in the United States, was also heading into an unknown. The Reds were trying to win their first IAAM championship since the formation of the league in 2000.

They almost did it, facing a six-time Division “A” champion Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) team which had a 132-game winning streak and all of the pressure of having to maintain its standard of excellence. McDonogh, despite falling behind four goals with about 16 minutes to go, rallied to tie the game at 12-12, setting up Andi Aldave’s goal with four seconds remaining as the Eagles won 15-14.

Roland Park built a 9-7 halftime lead primarily on free-position shots from the 8-meter arc. The Reds were masterful, connecting on their first eight opportunities of the game and keeping themselves on the front foot, making McDonogh play from behind.

The Eagles, to their credit, were resilient. Just like in a number of IAAM championship games of the past, they took the toughest blows from their opposition and rose above. Kelsey Cummings, the senior midfielder, had a hat trick in the space of about 61 seconds to tie the game 12-12 as the game entered the final nine minutes.

The Aldave goal was eerily reminiscent of the 2011 final when McDonogh all-time great Taylor Cummings, now at Maryland, scored the game winner in the final 10 seconds of a 12-11 win over Lutherville Maryvale Prep (Md.).

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