OWINGS MILLS, Md. — You might think that Maddie Jenner, the sophomore center for the girls’ lacrosse team from Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) might credit her sister Olivia, who has continued her prowess in the draw circle for Duke University this season, for being her first and greatest influence as a lacrosse player.
Instead, she credits her former babysitter, who just happens to be one of the greatest all-around centers in the history of collegiate lacrosse.
“Karri Ellen Johnson used to come over to our house,” Jenner said of the former Maryland All-American. “I had met her at a camp, and she would play lacrosse with us when she babysat us.”
Jenner has paced McDonogh this season with her prowess in the draw-control circle, and she was a major reason why the Eagles picked up a 16-5 win over Olney Good Counsel (Md.) in a meeting of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the LaxPower.com computer ratings. On the day, the seven-time defending IAAM Class A champions won the first 10 draws of the match and 18 of 23 overall.
“Usually, it’s just The Maddie Jenner show, but today we had all of our midfielders playing well on the draw, getting to the 50-50 balls,” said McDonogh head coach Chris Robinson.
And they needed to get to those groundballs, because Good Counsel had an experienced and speedy midfield. Though the Eagles took a 3-0 lead in under four minutes, the Falcons were able to score on their very first shot of the game approximately 12 seconds after making a save on a McDonogh scoring opportunity. Good Counsel’s Chloe Johnson, using exceptional speed, arrowed the ball into the cage.
But McDonogh was able to win the next draw, and Catie May, who has been exceptional the last couple of contests, scored on a 3/4 wraparound goal that sparked a 12-1 run for the Eagles. The run was generated by draw-control wins by Jenner and her wings. Blair Kessler also had a hat trick for McDonogh.
During the last seven-plus seasons and during the Eagles’ 148-game winning streak, they have always had good centers — Taylor Cummings, Olivia Jenner, Andie Aldave, and now this sophomore sensation. Standing 5-foot-11, Maddie Jenner is a woman amongst girls. She takes and executes center draws with frightening efficiency, as if she is in another universe.
And because the National Federation only allows six players in between the restraining lines when a draw is set, it simplifies the variables that a center has to account for when the umpire sets up the center draw.
“We just got beat on the draws like a rented mule,” the veteran Falcon coach Michael Haight said. “They’ve got to want the ball. They’ve got to want to make plays.”
Haight has been the coach of Good Counsel for the past 15 seasons, and has brought the program from sub-.500 records in 2002 and 2003 into one which has been competing on a national level the last few seasons. Indeed, it was nine years ago this week when Good Counsel first placed McDonogh, losing 12-6. Then, as now, the Falcons have tested themselves liberally against out-of-area competition, playing the likes of Milton (Ga.), Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.), and McDonogh; the Falcons finish their regular season Saturday at Moorestown (N.J.) before embarking on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament.
“We’re just trying to be consistent, and keep getting athletes,” Haight said. “But in order for us to get to that next level, we have to do those little things well. Tight interior stick skills, and once we get them, we’re great. We’re one of those teams that’s not going to be afraid of playing McDonogh. We’ll play them every year, and someday we’ll get their number.”
GOOD COUNSEL (14-2) 2 – 3 — 5
MCDONOGH (15-0) 10 – 6 — 16
Goals — GC: Kendall Welch 2, Chloe Johnson, Lexi Rieu, Taylor McDaniels; M: Catie May 3, Blair Kessler 3, Andie Aldave 2, Brindi Griffin 2, Samantha Buchanan 2, Rachel Anderson 2, Maddie Jenner, Blair Pierre. Assists — GC: Welch, Aiden Peduzzi; M: Griffin 3, Aldave 2, Nicole Alecce, Hannah Rothe.
Shots — GC: 10; M: 21. Saves — GC: Kiley Keating 5; M: Gabbe Cadoux 5.
FULL TIME Box score and story to follow
FULL TIME In the end, McDonogh was too good on the attack end, on the draw circle, and on defense
FULL TIME At the final whistle, McDonogh wins 16-5
48:35 OLGC GOAL Lexi Rieu with the right-side forehand; McDonogh leads 16-5
47:40 MCD GOAL Maddie Jenner with a cut and lefty finish; McDonogh leads 16-4
47:10 OLGC YELLOW Halle Graham with her first card, team first
44:40 OLGC GOAL Off the next draw, Kendall Welch connects; Good Counsel trails 15-4
44:11 TIMEOUT GOOD COUNSEL
44:00 OLGC GOAL Taylor McDaniels from the center-right hash, but the Falcons trail 15-3
43:43 MCD YELLOW Blair Kessler is off for two minutes; her first card, team second
39:45 MCD FP and GOAL Brindi Griffin, from the left hash, puts it top shelf where Mama keeps the thin mints; McDonogh leads 15-2
34:40 OLGC FP Kendall Welch is open at top dead center, but Gabbe Cadoux makes the save; it has been that kind of day for Good Counsel
30:40 MCD GOAL Blair Kessler is allowed to go down the seam; McDonogh leads 14-2
28:13 MCD GOAL Rachel Anderson connects and the Eagles keep piling on the pressure; score is 13-2
26:30 MCD GOAL Buchanan bounces it in and the hosts lead 12-2; the clock runs
25:13 MCD GOAL May takes a feed from Griffin and the score is 11-2
25:00 The second half is under way
HALFTIME Good Counsel can still win this game if they can get the ball to their amazingly speedy midfield
HALFTIME McDonogh has won this half at the draw circle, winning 13 of 14 draw controls
HALFTIME At the half, the McDonogh School leads 10-2
24:50 MCD GOAL A good bit of interior passing leads to a Catie May finish; McDonogh leads 10-2
21:48 MCD GOAL Credit Rachel Anderson with the goal that brings McDonogh a 9-2 advantage
19:04 MCD GOAL Savannah Buchanan from the angle; McDonogh takes an 8-2 lead
16:46 OLGC FP and GOAL Emma Bartlett connects off the restart; Falcons still trail by five
16:43 MCD YELLOW Julia Dorsey is off for the high check
14:24 MCD FP and GOAL Blair Pearre from the center-left hash and the lead is six
12:06 MCD FP and GOAL Aldave weaves high through two checks and changes levels; brilliant goal. McDonogh leads 6-1
10:31 MCD GOAL Griffin with a simple forehand and McDonogh’s lead is four
9:38 MCD GOAL Catie May with a golazo! Takes the entry pass on the run from Brindi Griffin and shovels it in from a 3/4 profile at the elbow! Eagles lead 4-1
4:29 TIMEOUT GOOD COUNSEL
4:29 OLGC GOAL Seconds after securing possession, Chloe Johnson finishes off the fast break; McDonogh leads 3-1
3:06 MCD GOAL Kessler with a brace following the third straight draw control for the hosts; McDonogh leads 3-0
2:29 MCD GOAL Andie Aldave opens her account; Eagles lead 2-0
2:00 MCD FP and GOAL Blair Kessler from top dead center; McDonogh leads 1-0
0:00 The game is on
PREGAME Good Counsel are in the navy jerseys with gold lettering; McDonogh is in the white with black numbers and orange trim
PREGAME The teams are warming up on the turf under sunny skies with temperatures around 81 degrees
PREGAME This is one of the most highly anticipated regular-season matches since 2012, and, as such, should provide plenty of excitement
PREGAME Good Counsel, out of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, is 13-1 and the No. 2 team in the LaxPower.com computer poll; McDonogh, out of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, is 14-0 and No. 1 in both the LaxPower and TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10
PREGAME Good afternoon, and welcome to Dixon Field for this intersectional match between Olney Good Counsel (Md.) and Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.)