Game of the Week: McDonogh vs. Vero Beach
March, 20, 2012
By Mike Loveday | ESPN.com
Jimmy Hurlburt/ESPNHSTaylor Cummings and McDonogh (Md.) put their 51-game winning streak and No. 1 ranking on the line Wednesday.There is one certainty this week. One of the longest winning streaks in the nation will end.
No. 1 McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) travels to play No. 10 Vero Beach (Fla.) on Wednesday, pitting the top teams in their respective states.
Vero Beach has a current 68-game winning streak while McDonogh’s streak sits at 51 games. Vero Beach started its streak on March 13, 2009 with a 20-8 win over Northview (Ga.). McDonogh began its streak on April 13, 2009 with a 15-3 victory over Winters Mill (Westminster, Md.).
When these teams step on the field there will be a combined 20 players committed to play for Division I colleges.
McDonogh returns nine starters and 14 players from last year's POWERADE FAB 50 National Championship team, including 14 Division I players. The Eagles return starters at every position, including ESPNHS 100 No. 1 player Taylor Cummings. The senior group includes Liz Bannantine (Princeton), Mallory Schonk (Vanderbilt) and Sofia Robins (Boston). The junior class boasts eight Division I commits, including five ESPNHS Top 50 juniors, including No. 5 Casey Blake (Duke) and No. 15 Samantha Burgess (Florida).
Vero Beach returns 10 starters from the Florida state championship team, including six Division I commits. Johns Hopkins commit Olivia Long returns on defense and Caitlyn Miller returns in goal after posting a .610 save percentage last season. Lucy Sexton and Mackenzie Smith (Vanderbilt) return after scoring 42 and 45 goals respectively. Gracee Hendrix (Virginia Tech) returns to the midfield.
Vero Beach (8-0) is halfway through its season and enters its toughest stretch. After McDonogh, they play No. 2 St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.), No. 33 Archbishop Carroll (Wayne, Pa.) and No. 14 Milton (Ga.).