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Philly boys’ and girls’ teams split opening day Under Armour Underclassmen games

Saturday, 27th June 2009

Categories Boy's/Men's, Girl's/Women's, High School  
 

By Adam C. Warner
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/28/09

Team Philadelphia certainly raised a few eyebrows on Saturday at the 2009 Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Tournament held at Towson University in Maryland. Although both the Philadelphia girls’ and boys’ underclass teams saw mixed results, the first day of action featured plenty of highlights.

Both teams played and split a pair of games on Saturday and are slated for a third contest against New England on Sunday. If both squads earn the top seed from their pool, they will then move on to the Underclass Championship, set for Sunday afternoon.

On the boys’ side, Team Philadelphia kicked off play by defeating Baltimore in the morning game, 11-9. Philadelphia flew out of the gates on a 5-0 run thanks to its stifling defense and opportunistic offense and never looked back.

“It’s a pretty cool experience,” said Downingtown East rising senior Shane Sturgis, who plays attack for Team Philadelphia. “We played really well in the first game. The pace was fast and Baltimore scored a lot in transition, but we settled it down and our 6-on-6 worked well.”

Conestoga defender Casey Ikeda turned a lot of heads for Team Philadelphia with his aggressive play and timely takeaways. The senior ignited the early lead for his unit with shutdown defense and then later played a key role by picking off a Baltimore pass attempt deep in the zone.

After the first day of play, Ikeda was impressed with not only his teammates’ abilities, but also the quality of the competition.

“It’s a lot different than high school games,” Ikeda said. “There is so much talent out there and the speed of the game is on a whole different level. And we are playing with college rules, so it’s a good taste of what’s to come.”

In the afternoon tilt, the squad fell to Upstate New York, 9-6, who gave Team Philadelphia a taste of its own medicine with disciplined and methodical play.

Said Sturgis, “New York is definitely a good team. They packed it in the crease and came out hard and played their game. I think we had a hard time adjusting and we’ll have to do a better job if we want to come out on top tomorrow.”

On the girls’ side, Team Philadelphia split its two games of the day, first falling to Baltimore, 13-12 in OT, before defeating Upstate New York, 13-7.

Against Baltimore, Team Philadelphia started out slow and fell behind by four goals before finding success in its transition game and grabbing the momentum back. Radnor’s Courtney Campbell was a force on offense, especially catching and shooting in traffic.
In the afternoon contest, Philadelphia found its groove and really excelled with its shot selection and execution. Thanks to that late-day success, the squad has plenty of confidence heading into Sunday’s action against New England, which will hopefully lead to a championship game berth.
“It’s awesome playing with the girls,” said Upper Dublin’s Amy Cross, a midfielder. “We are so used to competing against each other and now we are working together. It’s a cool experience. We have gelled well so far. It’s definitely a fun team and we are open with each other.”
The underclassmen tournament features eight all-star teams from different regions around the country, including Long Island (NY), Upstate New York, Midwest, New England, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Baltimore. Each squad will play three games in pool play and then the winners of each pool meet for the Underclass Championship.

Boys’ Standings – Day 1
Pool A:
Upstate New York (2-0)
Philadelphia (1-1)
New England (1-1)
Baltimore (0-2)

Pool B:
Long Island (2-0)
Washington D.C. (1-1)
New Jersey (1-1)
Midwest (0-2)

Girls’ Standings – Day 1
Pool A:
Baltimore (2-0)
Philadelphia (1-1)
Upstate New York (1-1)
New England (0-2)

Pool B:
Long Island (2-0)
Washington D.C. (1-1)
New Jersey (1-1)
Midwest (0-2)

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