Jennifer Morrisey learned the benefit of a loss last fall when her Good Counsel volleyball team had its 115-match Washington Catholic Athletic Conference win streak stopped by Elizabeth Seton. The Falcons bounced back the next week to claim their sixth straight conference tournament title.
“It brings a team closer together and really makes you grounded,” Morrisey said of the experience. “After that, you want to come out and just bust anyone.”
But that doesn’t mean Morrisey is ready to see another impressive Good Counsel run come to an end any time soon. Boosted by the senior’s four second-half goals, the Olney school’s girls’ lacrosse team extended its WCAC winning streak to 86 games on Wednesday with a 16-9 victory at Holy Cross.
After graduating three first-team All-Mets, including Player of the Year Brigid Smith, the ninth-ranked Falcons (9-6, 6-0) figured to be in for some growing pains this spring. The first bump along the way came in a 16-7 loss at No. 1 Georgetown Visitation on March 29 — their first setback to an area squad since April 2008.
Facing its usual tough schedule packed with national powers, Good Counsel has struggled to regain its footing since. Before beating Paul VI and Holy Cross over the past week, it had not won back-to-back games since beginning the season with three straight victories. The team has already suffered more losses this season (six) than in the past two years combined (five).
“It’s supposed to be a challenge,” said junior Caroline Peters, a Vanderbilt recruit. “Coach [Michael] Haight makes our schedule challenging just to get us better. It’s definitely been hard, but I think overall we came out better than we thought we would.”
Through it all, the Falcons, who will seek their ninth straight conference tournament title next month, have maintained their hold on the WCAC.
They faced a strong challenge from their county rival on Wednesday for a half but pulled away from the Tartans (10-5, 5-1) after halftime with a run that included seven straight goals. Junior Shea Cassidy had three goals and three assists in the win.
Haight has preached continued progress from the start. Early on, the group worked hard to improve its defense and in recent weeks, the coach said its offense has caught up. He compared this year’s young squad to the one that struggled in 2008 but eventually produced the group of seniors that propelled the Falcons to the top of The Post’s rankings last season.
“It’s about getting them to understand this is how you need to play the game,” Haight said. “It took a little bit longer this year than it has in the past, but the athletes are starting to shine.”