By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/5/10
Radnor defender Alyssa Dunlap says the challenge of playing in an All-Star Game makes it that much more thrilling.
“It is definitely a faster paced game and that’s what made it more exciting,” she said of competing in the Under Armour Senior All-American Game Saturday night at Towson University. “You always do better when you’re playing against a higher caliber team.”
Dunlap and teammate Kelyn Freedman along with Hatboro-Horsham’s Lauren Purvis were the Philly representatives in the annual event that brings together many of the top 46 seniors in the country for one last game before they head to the top lacrosse schools.
The three Philly girls helped the North claim an exciting 17-16 victory over the South. Freedman (headed to Georgetown had two goals, two assists, four groundballs, three draw controls and a caused turnover.
Click here for more details and stats on the game
Dunlap (Vanderbilt) contributed two groundballs and a caused turnover while midfielder-attack Purvis (Penn State) had two shots.
“The teams were very evenly matched, which made it even more exciting,” said Dunlap. “Because we never played together and we all come from different areas and different styles, it was challenging. But that’s what made it more exciting.”
How did Dunlap feel she played?
“I did fine; I can usually adapt to how other people play,” she said. “It’s tough because not everyone is a defender, so communication can be tough when you’re not playing with the same group on defense.”
Dunlap said playing with Freedman has been a joy. The two helped the Red Raiders win their second straight Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championship and go 75-2 the past three years. They also played together last week at the Vail Shootout.
“On the ride up she (Kelyn) mentioned (it would be our last game together),” said Dunlap. “I didn’t even realize it until she said something.”
“It was a lot of fun playing with all those girls,” Freedman said. “It was cool to meet new people and I was playing against a bunch of girls that are going to Georgetown with me.
“It was exciting. Everyone shared the ball and I am excited and looking forward to playing college games like that. The game was close the whole way. It was really an honor to play with all those girls.”
To the rest of the lacrosse world, Freedman is considered one of the nation’s most dominant players – someone who was named the MaxPreps National Player of the Year and also won MVP honors at the National Tournament.
But to Dunlap, she sees Freedman as simply the ultimate teammate.
“She is one of my best friends and I don’t see her as the star, just as a teammate I can count on,” she said. “If I am in trouble, I can always find her. She is so dependable as a teammate and player. I can’t ask for anything else. I am really going to miss her.”
Purvis said winning the game made it that much better.
“It was awesome,” she said. “I was used to playing with good talent, but playing with the best players in the nation brought it to a whole other level of lacrosse.
“The fact we won made it even cooler. It was fun to play, but it’s a whole other thing when you win.”
Purvis, who also will play field hockey at Penn State, said the experience gives her an idea about what to expect from the college game of lacrosse.
“At the college level, everyone is so good,” she said. “They are all going to amazing schools and they play at a really high level.”
Purvis also enjoyed playing with Freedman at midfield.
“She is unbelievable,” Purvis said. “Playing with her and watching her, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, how does she do those things?’”
What did Purvis learn from the game?
“I learned that you can always get better,” she said. “Just watching, you learn so much and you always have room to grow.”