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Archive for May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016 — The pressure point

Since this website began in the fall of 1998, there have been a number of high-achieving field hockey and lacrosse teams that have won championships, set records, and live long in the memories of their respective school communities.

Amongst the most fascinating characters I have seen in the current dynastic recordholders — the Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) field hockey team and the Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) girls’ lacrosse team — have been the goalies. Nicole and Alana Barry, Lyndsie Johnson, Katie Ferraro, Cassidy Kincaid, and Allison Silber have formed a special sorority of young women who literally have a target on them — and behind them — every single game, whether it is defending the orange 6-by-6 square or a white 12-by-7 goal cage.

Maintaining a championship level of play and an unbeaten streak in either sport is enough to affect the health, mood, and behavior of most teenagers. But McDonogh senior goalie Gabbe Cadoux is one of the most unaffected people you’ll ever meet.

As a sophomore in 2014, she started her career having to play against Vero Beach (Fla.) on the road in a large football stadium, under the lights. McDonogh won the game, then kept on winning in front of her. She backstopped the Eagles past the all-time wins record and the all-time unbeaten record, then just kept on winning. Her three-year career as a starter encompassed a span of 64 games, each of which could have meant the end of the team’s unbeaten string.

“I’ve had a pretty normal life, game by game,” Cadoux said. “But in most games, our offense does so well at keeping the ball, the defense doesn’t see it as much.”

Cadoux was at the height of her powers in 2016, even in an era in which U.S. Lacrosse and the NCAA have written rules to benefit the offense. In the championship final yesterday, McDonogh managed to keep Baltimore Roland Park (Md.) off the board for the first 21 1/2 minutes despite not dominating draws and having the occasional unforced error the first five minutes.

Cadoux and low defenders Sarah Dohler, Marge Donovan, Nicole Alecce, and Julia Dorsey interposed themselves in the right places and imposed their will on the Roland Park attack.

“Composure is our biggest thing,” Cadoux said. “Roland Park has very good 1-on-1 players; all of our playoff games have been incredible, we’ve played very good defense.”

Cadoux, who will be playing at Duke next year, has benefited from having to go against her teammates every day in practice. Those practice dates, during the 2016 season, were infrequent because the schedule had the Eagles play their last 17 regular-season matches in just 32 days. Rare was the time when the team had three consecutive days between games.

“Our lacrosse team is like family,” Cadoux says. “I love my team; everything about it.”