PressBox's high school lacrosse e-mail by Maddie Brightman brings you all the best in local lacrosse -- boys and girls, private and public schools, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Check it out, pass it on and tell us what you think.
Manchester Valley Caps Perfect Season With Class 2A/1A Championship Win
After the Manchester Valley girls' lacrosse team won its second straight Class 2A/1A state title May 19, feelings of déjà vu and excitement overwhelmed head coach Shelly Brezicki and the Mavericks. The 16-5 win against Queen Anne's also capped a perfect season for Manchester Valley.
The Mavericks, who have won 37 of their last 38 games, wrapped up the 2015 season with a 19-0 record.
Junior midfielder Lizzie Colson had five goals and two assists during the state championship game, while senior attacker Allie Little finished her Manchester Valley career with six points, including two assists.
Senior attacker Stephanie Colson, sophomore midfielder Beanie Colson and junior midfielder Kira Mitchell each recorded one goal for the Mavericks.
The Lions, meanwhile, struggled to stop the state champions, trailing, 10-2, after the first half before ending the game with 20 turnovers.
For Manchester Valley, the win marked the first undefeated season in program history. The win also helped the Mavericks' returning players make up for their 23-11 loss to Roland Park Country School in 2014, the team's lone blemish.
The Mavericks close out the year with 301 total points, four wins against top 10 teams and 13 games with at least 15 goals scored.
Under Armour All-American Rosters Feature Maryland Standouts
On July 3, the nation's top lacrosse players will face off during the 10th annual Under Armour All-American game.
The 2015 senior games will take place at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium, with the girls' game beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by boys' game at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
Of the seniors who were chosen to play in the game by the selection committee and Inside Lacrosse, many are Maryland natives.
The Under Armour All-American boys' team will feature several from the state. Among those are Loyola Blakefield midfielder Ryan Conrad (Timonium, Md.), Winston Churchill attackman Louis Dubick, Calvert Hall attackman Timmy Kelly (Timonium), Boys' Latin attackman Patrick Spencer (Davidsonville, Md.), McDonogh goalie Jacob Stover (Cockeysville, Md.), Gonzaga attackman Timmy Monahan (Bethesda, Md.), St. Paul's goalie AJ Barretto (Havre de Grace, Md.) and St. Paul's midfielder Alex McGovern (Phoenix, Md.). The list is constantly updated and can be viewed here.
The Under Armour All-American girls' team features several standouts from the state. Among those selected are Bryn Mawr defender Alexandra Argo (Baltimore, Md.,) St. Paul's School for Girls defender Julia Braig (Reisterstown, Md.), Mount Hebron defender Meghan Doherty (Ellicott City, Md.), Mount Hebron midfielder Jen Giles (Ellicott City), John Carroll midfielder Kara Klages (Bel Air, Md.), McDonogh midfielder Elizabeth George (Lutherville, Md.), McDonogh midfielder Olivia Jenner (Annapolis, Md.), Century defender Shelby Mercer (Woodbine, Md.), Archbishop Spalding midfielder Alexis Phillips (Riva, Md.), Severn attacker Caroline Steele (Severna Park, Md.) and Glenelg goalie Megan Taylor (Woodbine, Md.).
Roland Park Country School midfielder Francesca Whitehurst (Baltimore) and Maryvale attacker Miranda Ibello (Cockeysville, Md.) will be honored as All-Americans, but are restricted from playing because of their spots on the U.S. U19 team.
The list is constantly updated and can be viewed here.
Q&A: Gonzaga College High School Head Coach Casey O'Neill
Brendan O'Neill Sr. started the Gonzaga College High School lacrosse program in 1985, but his son, Casey, went on to turn the team into a national powerhouse.
Casey O'Neill, a 1996 Gonzaga graduate, is now the Purple Eagles' assistant athletic director and head varsity lacrosse coach.
During his time as a student, O'Neill played basketball, football and lacrosse. O'Neill missed his senior lacrosse season after tearing his ACL while playing football, but was still elected the captain of the lacrosse team.
O'Neill quickly returned from his knee injury and played midfield at Lehigh. In 2000, he graduated from Lehigh with a degree in journalism and returned to Gonzaga as an assistant lacrosse coach the following year.
After working as an assistant coach for seven years, O'Neill took over as head coach in 2008. Two years later, he led the program to its first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title since 1998. Since taking over, O'Neill has produced six straight conference titles and six teams with national rankings. His most recent title came May 11, when the Purple Eagles defeated Paul VI (Va.), 12-5.
The Gonzaga head coach boasts a 136-34 career record and has been named WCAC Coach of the Year three times. In 2010, he was named Coach of the Year by the WCAC, The Washington Post, Washington D.C. All-District and US Lacrosse All-American Potomac Chapter.
In addition to the on-field success, O'Neill provides philanthropic opportunities to lacrosse players at Gonzaga.
During the last eight years, Gonzaga has sent more than 2,000 care packages to military units in Afghanistan. The Purple Eagles also partner with Children's National Medical Center, and in the last four years, they have raised $160,000. O'Neill takes his senior players on a tour of the children's hospital and invites all of his players to participate in a Brave and Shave Banquet at the end of each year.
PressBox: What was the most memorable part of this year's season, and what made this team special?
Casey O'Neill: The most memorable part outside of the championship was winning a couple of early season games over some great schools, like Boys' Latin, Hill Academy and Culver. Those really stuck out as big team wins.
The makeup of this team was really difficult. We are city school with 970 boys from 160 different zip codes. We are in the middle of D.C., right in the shadows of [the] U.S. Capitol. We only have one field for all of our 17 varsity sports, and we didn't have that field, because it was under construction the entire year.
We practiced at 10 different locations and played in five different college stadiums. We did not know where we were going each day, and we did not have that consistent place to go. We weren't able to watch as much film or lift as much as we usually do, because we were always traveling. But being able to get through that is what stuck out most.
PB: Your team has won the WCAC title the last six years. Do you go into each season thinking you have to continue the streak?
CO: The streak is something you don't want to think about. Instead, you want to think about the task at hand. The ultimate goal is to win our league championship and work as hard as we possibly can to achieve that.
The streak is not necessarily what we are looking at, but instead focusing forward on the task at hand and sticking to our core principals, which we created eight years ago -- never give up, family and God and accountability. The kids in these great programs are all the same, but the amount of effort and work we put into is what makes us successful.
PB: You have won the WCAC Coach of the Year award three times. What do you attribute that success to?
CO: The assistant coaches -- it takes a village, not just one particular thing. I've set the core principals in the coaches, and everyone just runs with it.
It's everyone from the freshman, JV coaches to varsity assistant coaches, but [I] would give up any coach of the year award for a player to get an honor or for the kids to get an opportunity to go play in college.
For more from O'Neill, including what he enjoys most about coaching and the impact of national rankings on his team's goals, check out the full interview here.
(Rankings were released May 19, and all records listed are through May 18) 1. Haverford School (Pa.), 24-0 2. Landon (Md.), 20-2 3. Gonzaga (D.C.), 18-3 4. St. Mary's (Md.), 12-6 5. McDonogh (Md.), 14-5 6. Delbarton (N.J.), 16-1 7. Georgetown Prep (Md.), 13-4 8. Boys' Latin (Md.), 15-5 9. Bullis (Md.), 14-5 10. St. Paul's (Md.), 13-6 For more from the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine boys' polls, click here.
(Rankings were released May 19, and all records listed are through May 18) 1. McDonogh (Md.), 21-0 2. Good Counsel (Md.), 19-2 3. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.), 28-1 4. Ridgewood (N.J.), 19-0 5. Bishop Ireton (Va.), 20-3 6. Agnes Irwin (Pa.), 20-1 7. Holy Cross (Md.), 16-4 8. Radnor (Pa.), 19-1 9. Conestoga (Pa.), 20-1 10. Moorestown (N.J.), 16-3
Key Scores And Upcoming Games
High School Championship Results: MIAA Tournament A Conference: St. Mary's 13, McDonogh 8 B Conference: John Carroll 20, Archbishop Curley 13 C Conference: Indian Creek 12, Beth Tfiloh 7 WCAC Boys' Championship Gonzaga 12, Paul VI (Va.) 5 Gonzaga 10, DeMatha 3 WCAC Girls' Championship Gonzaga 9, Holy Cross 8 Boys' Lacrosse 3A/2A 2015 Championship Kent Island 20, River Hill 7 Girls' Lacrosse 4A/3A Championship Severna Park 18, Bel Air 15 Girls' Lacrosse 2A/1A Championship Manchester Valley 16, Queen Anne's 5 High School Championship Schedule: Boys' Lacrosse 2A/1A 2015 Championship Easton vs. Southern, Stevenson University, 4 p.m. May 20 Girls' Lacrosse 3A/2A Championship Stephen Decatur vs. Century, Stevenson University, 6 p.m. May 20 Boys' Lacrosse 4A/3A 2015 Championship Winston Churchill vs. Howard, Stevenson University, 8 p.m. May 20
Visit CountySportsZone.com for Maryland high school schedules, scores and standings.