Make it eight straight for Mount St. Mary.
The Thunder built up a big halftime lead and held on for a 9-5 win over Nardin in the Monsignor Martin championship game before an estimated 300 fans on Thursday at Nichols. The Mount, which had a couple of close calls this spring (two-goal wins over Mt. Mercy and St. Mary's), finished 15-2 overall and 14-0 in the league.
"Every year starts off and the goal is always the same, but this year a lot of people were saying it's got to end some time and I was just like 'not this year,' " Thunder coach Marissa Dauria said.
"That's always our mentality. These girls dug deep. They looked at each other and said (a league loss) is not happening -- not on my watch."
Dauria, a member of the school's first title team in 2005, said that type of attitude is a direct reflection on her seniors -- Abbey Braun, Susie Meegan, Kortney Selak, Catherine Suchan and Lauren Walsh. That quintet played a big role in the title-clinching win as Walsh recorded a hat trick, Meegan and Suchan each had two goals and Selak added a single tally.
"Being a senior [winning the championship] is the most important thing," Walsh said. "It's about carrying the team on your back."
The Mount got on top early as Suchan scored on a wraparound less than a minute into the contest. Nardin junior Jane Truesdell responded about 45 seconds later with the first of her game-high four goals.
But from then on, the Thunder owned the opening 25 minutes, netting six consecutive goals on their way to a 7-1 halftime edge. Walsh and Meegan each scored twice, while Selak and Suchan had single tallies in the first half.
"The very first goals are the most important goals because they bring your team spirit up so much and the other teams seem to get knocked off the ball," Walsh said.
The big lead also allowed Dauria to substitute more freely on the 80-degree day.
"Having that lead was crucial, especially on a hot day like this," she said. "Our starters and middies could've been burned out by the end of the game, but we built a huge lead that was insurmountable."
The Gators (10-4), though, did not stop fighting as freshman Caitlin Scully and Truesdell each scored early in the second half to cut the Thunder advantage to 7-3. But goals midway through the half from freshman Olivia MacDonald and Walsh sealed the victory.
Junior Shannon Pelitera assisted on both goals.
"We didn't play a bad first half, but they make you pay for your mistakes," Nardin coach Kate Mayhook said. "It's always hard when we play [Mount St. Mary], but half of it is the mental game. I am very proud of my team, though."