About two months ago, McDonogh won his second straight MIAA A Conference lacrosse championship. On Friday, the Eagles started a story they thought would end next spring with a bit of history.
McDonogh defeated Boys’ Latin 8-5 in the National High School Lacrosse Showcase title at Blandyer Park in Columbia. Rising midfielder Bog Hahn scored four goals for the Eagles, while Brendan Millon added two goals and an assist.
McDonogh built a 7-1 mid-second advantage before mounting a fourth-quarter push for men’s Latin to win the summer event for the first time since 2017.
It was McDonogh’s first time together since claiming the MIAA A title at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex in mid-May.
“We’ve been dying to see each other again. It’s been such a crazy summer that we haven’t seen the younger guys,” Millon said. “It’s been great to get back out there, see the guys and start climbing the mountain again.”
Sal Picataggi and James Margraf, assistants under longtime Eagles coach Andy Hilgartner, coached McDonogh at NHSLS, one of the major events on the summer lacrosse recruiting circuit.
In the year Hilgartner, who started NHSSS in 2013, was able to get a good look at some of the 2024 team with legendary former boys’ Latin coach Bob Shriver on Friday evening. The championship game, broadcast live on ESPNU, was delayed nearly two hours because of heavy rain and lightning that hit the Baltimore area Friday afternoon.
“We lost a big part and a really good team, but I think we played unselfishly, we played with energy and enthusiasm and those were good signs to see,” Hilgartner said. “We didn’t have a lot of defenders, but the kids here played well. I thought our goalie and forward boys played well.
The Eagles had little to worry about in Thursday’s pool play, winning their three matches by a combined 25 goals. McDonogh held off New Jersey non-state runner-up Seton Hall Prep before taking on Connecticut prep school power Taft Academy, on the strength of three goals from senior Ben Firley and nine saves from junior goaltender Aiden Seibel.
In men’s Latin, McDonogh’s team won the MIAA semifinals this spring and last year, with the Eagles reeling off six straight points Friday to take a 7-1 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Lakers, playing in their first NHSLS final since 2013, rallied. Boys’ Latin scored four unanswered goals, capped by junior Connor Sydnor’s second goal of the night, to win 7-5.
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Seibel, who went undefeated as the Eagles’ starting goaltender in the spring, stopped a Laker shot and buried a layup into the empty net with 1 minute, 25 seconds to play.
Fairley, a Georgetown commit, had a goal along with junior midfielder Ellie Schaller. Colin Kenny and Liam White each scored for Boys Latin.
In the spring, McDonogh finished 17-1, ranked in the final Baltimore Banner/VSN Top 15 and No. 1 nationally by Inside Lacrosse. The Eagles’ lone loss came against Loyola Blackfield in an 11-goal second half and a late exit.
McDonogh became the third team in the nation’s top high school boys’ lacrosse league to make back-to-back victories over Calvert Hall in the MIA final.
Friday’s NHSS title could be a hopeful bellwether for the Eagles, who will try to become the second team to win three straight MIAA A titles next year.
“We’ve got to stick with what we’ve been doing the last two years, whether it’s in the fall or the winter,” said Milone, the Baltimore Banner/VSN Offensive Player of the Year.
“I like to put a target on our back and the team has embraced it,” said senior offensive tackle Luke Miller, who is committed to reigning NCAA Division 1 national champion Notre Dame. “We lived by it every day and it was printed on our t-shirts: hunt. We were not going to wait for the title, we were going to get it. The same for next year,” he said.
National High School Lacrosse Showcase Championship
MCDONOGH 8, MEN’S LATIN 5
Boys’ Latin 1 0 1 2 – 5
Goals: Men’s Latin – Conor Sydnor 2, Matthew Higgins, Colin Kenny, Liam White; McDonogh – Bog Hahn 4, Brendan Millon 2, Ben Fairley, Eli Schaller.
Aids: Men’s Latin – George Inslee, Spencer Ford; McDonogh – Luke Miller, Millon
Goals: Men’s Latin – Garrett 11; McDonogh – Aidan Sibel 9