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Jumping Dunleavy Breaks Loose

Robinson girls’ lacrosse advances to Virginia AAA state final with Chantilly on Saturday.

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Pictured here with freshman Katie McHugh, senior Megan Dunleavy, right, scored five times during the Robinson girls’ lacrosse team’s 18-5 win over Broad Run Tuesday night.

Megan Dunleavy stood opposite Broad Run goalkeeper Allison Bogle with less than 18 minutes remaining during the Robinson girls’ lacrosse team’s Virginia AAA state semifinal matchup Tuesday night, June 2 at Westfield.

With a free-position shot, the senior attack/midfielder was granted a chance to fire away at Bogle, an unobstructed view that wouldn’t require any sort of dodge, spin or jump.

That’s not to say Dunleavy wouldn’t try some sort of acrobatic leap anyway.

“Since I was little, I’ve always kind of jumped when I shot. It’s a habit,” said the 5-foot-4 Dunleavy, who eventually did score her fifth goal of the game on a jump shot from point-blank range. “I guess since I’m short, I try to get a higher shot on the goal.”

Dunleavy’s teammates wouldn’t need any assistance getting a lift, as they cruised to an 18-5 win. Now Robinson’s victory sets up yet another date with Chantilly, a team the Rams (18-3) have already played three times this season. That state final matchup is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, at 6 p.m., at Westfield.

In the Concorde District final, Robinson ended the game on a 3-0 run to hand the Chargers a 9-8 loss. In the Northern Region title game on May 20, Robinson scored four unanswered goals in the final 8:36 to seal a 10-9 win.

<b>IN THAT</b> region title game, Dunleavy was a visible presence on offense. She just wasn’t much of a presence within the team’s record book, scoring just one goal. And during the Rams’ 15-5 state quarterfinal round win over Albemarle, Dunleavy again scored only once.

Considering the fact that she has a lacrosse scholarship to the University of Virginia and has totaled 72 goals this season, Dunleavy’s lack of production did not exactly come as a welcomed change of pace.

But what head coach Alison Neun explained to Dunleavy was that in the state playoffs scouting reports are designed and followed. Although opposing teams may struggle to locate Robinson even with a portable navigation system, they know about Dunleavy and what she can do on a lacrosse field.

“Everybody has your number and everybody learns who your top players are,” Neun said. “You have to get used to that attention and adjust to it. If they’re marking tighter on you, you have to help your teammates out.”

It didn’t take long for Dunleavy to make the adjustment. With Broad Run taking a looser approach on her, Dunleavy opened the scoring for Robinson only 62 seconds, finishing off a pass from teammate Tory Barron.

In the first five minutes of the game, Robinson jumped out to a 4-1 lead on three more goals from Rachel Moody, Barron and Eastman before Broad Run’s Nina Duney scored to make it 4-2 with 20:07 remaining.

Freshman Katie McHugh (two goals, assist) and Moody (four goals, two assists) followed with a pair of goals before Broad Run cut its deficit to two (6-4) at 9:53 of the first half.

But Robinson closed the first half on a 4-0 run, as the Rams got tallies from Rachel Moody, McHugh, Dunleavy and Sarah Moody, who scored off of a free-position shot with 0:27 left before halftime to the make the score 10-4.

To start the second half, Dunleavy scooped up a ground ball and, without breaking stride, beat Bogle to stoke a 5-0 run for the Rams. After that jumping free-position shot, Sarah Moody added her second of three goals on the night, and Dunleavy tallied again make it 14-4 at 14:35.