Local Boys And Girls Help South Teams Win Under Armour Lacrosse Classic
By Keith Mills
A sweep for the South.
With the help of nearly two dozen players from the Baltimore area, the South teams won both games at Saturday's Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic.
Behind eight points each from McDonogh's Taylor Cummings and Corinne Etchison, the South beat the North, 25-13, during the girls' game. With a combined 10 goals from Gordie Koerber of Gilman, Spencer Parks of St. Paul's, Deemer Class of Loyola, and Ryan Brown and Kelton Black of Calvert Hall, the South beat the North, 12-11, during the boys' game.
The games were played at Johnny Unitas Stadium at Towson University and proved that Under Armour weekend is one of the premier high school lacrosse events in the country.
"It's just blowing up," said Lee Corrigan, of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, the organizer of the event. "We had about 3,500 kids try out for the underclass games from their various regions. That thing has become a wild recruiting smorgasbord. It really put the Under Armour game at the top of the heap. Everybody wants to be involved."
In addition to the two signature games, 10 boys' teams and 10 girls' teams from around the country compete in underclass games, which attract hundreds of college coaches and scouts and set the table for next year's high school season.
Baltimore and Long Island, N.Y., are the two traditional lacrosse hotbeds, but the rest of the country is catching up. Joining the Baltimore and Long Island teams in pool play this year were New Jersey; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; New England; the Midwest; the South; and the West.
"It used to be a haymaker between Baltimore and Long Island," Corrigan said, "but that's not the way it is now. The California kids come in here and try and bump everybody off and make a name for themselves. Last year, it happened. The California kids beat the Baltimore kids. It shows the growth of the game."
This year's Baltimore team in the underclass boys' games was coached by Josh Hatmaker of Glenelg, which lost to Hereford during this year's Class 2A/3A state championship game, but has won three of the last six state public school titles.
This year's Baltimore boys' team featured two dozen of the best juniors and seniors in the area, including Ben Carta, who Hatmaker coached at Glenelg; junior Shack Stanwick, the brother of former Loyola Blakefield and Virginia standout Steele Stanwick, Ben Pridemore, Colin Heacock and Tal Bruno of Boys' Latin; Nick Doyle, Alexander Hurdle, Denny Sweeney and Brinton Valis of McDonogh; Connor Cunningham and Joe Sieder of Hereford; and Johnny Kelly, Garrett Epple, Kevin Diehl and Tyler Mayes of Calvert Hall, this year's MIAA A Conference champs.
This year's Baltimore boys' team avenged its 2011 loss to California with a 16-3 win, and beat the Midwest team, 11-10, though it lost to New Jersey, 11-9, and Washington, D.C., 8-7.
The Baltimore girls featured five players from McDonogh's unbeaten IAAM A Conference champs (Casey Black, Samanta Burgess, Maggie Preas, Posey Valis and Megan Whittle), five from John Carroll (Jordan Clarke, Caroline Haggerty, Haley Hicklen, Mackenzie Reese and Carolina Sdanovich) and two players from IAAM A Conference runner-up Maryvale Prep (Caroline Federico and Miranda Ibello).
Baltimore ripped through its first four games in pool play, beating New Jersey, New England, upstate New York and the South by a combined score of 65-15, though the locals lost during the semifinals to Long Island, 13-10. Long Island beat New Jersey, 9-8, during the girls' championship game, while Philadelphia beat New England, 12-5, to win the boys' championship.
The senior girls' game was dominated by many Baltimore area players, especially Cummings and Etchison. Cummings, who is headed to Maryland, scored five goals and added three assists, while Etchison scored three goals and added five assists. She'll play next year at Georgetown.
The South team, coached by Becky Groves of Century High School in Carroll County, rolled past the North during the girls' game, as Kelly Boyd of St. Paul's scored two goals and her twin sister, Brooke, scored one. The Boyd twins will both play next year at Virginia. Erica Bodt of John Carroll, who is headed to Syracuse, added one goal and one assist, while Alice Mercer of Century, Anne Zabel of Marriotts Ridge, Liz Bannantine of McDonogh, and goalies Megan Ward of St. Mary's High in Annapolis and Molly Wolf of Bryn Mawr anchored a defense that was airtight.
Midfielder Sam Darcangelo of Marvyale Prep was named to the team, but was unable to play because of injury.
The boys' game was much closer, as Gilman's Koerber scored the eventual game winner with less than three minutes to play on a feed from Parks of St. Paul's. Koerber, who is headed to Denver to play for head coach Bill Tierney, scored three goals and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Parks added a goal to go with two assists, while Kelton Black and Ryan Brown of Calvert Hall scored two goals each, as did Loyola's Class. Parks is also headed to Denver, while Brown and Black will both play next at Johns Hopkins, and Class at Duke.
Attackman Patrick Kelly (North Carolina) and defenseman Evan Connell (Duke) joined Brown and Black from Calvert Hall's A Conference champs. Joining Koerber from Gilman's conference runners-up were Jake Matthai (North Carolina) and defenseman Robby Haus (Ohio State).
"You want to bring out the Baltimore pride," said Corrigan, who also coaches the RoughRiders Under 18 club lacrosse team, which features some of the area's premier players. "When you become an Under Armour All-American, it's something you wear around your neck for the rest of your life."
Posted July 2, 2012