Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/21/10
US Lacrosse has announced that the U.S. Men’s National Team will play a Philadelphia Lacrosse Association (PLA) All-Star Team on Friday, June 18 at Lehigh University as it prepares for the World Championship games in Manchester, England.
The game will be held at the Banko Field at the Ulrich Sports Complex on the Lehigh campus in Bethlehem at 8 p.m. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased by logging into the PLA site at http://www.palacrosse.com/teamusa2010.php
The PLA All Star team is being coached by John Nostrant (Haverford School) and Kevin Giblin (Georgetown Prep), who coached together as assistants for the US U-19 team that won the national crown in 2008. The selection of the Philly team is being overseen by Chris Hupfeldt (General Manger of the 2006 US Men’s National Team), Chris McNichol (General Manager of the Philadelphia based GMH Post Collegiate Men’s Club Lacrosse Team) and Dave Metzbower (former Associate Head Coach, Princeton University).
The team roster will be announced soon and will be posted at www.palacrosse.com.
The US team features many Philly players, including midfielder Kevin Cassese, the Lehigh head coach and former Duke standout. Others include goalie Brian Dougherty (Episcopal Academy/Maryland), defenseman Kyle Sweeney (Springfield-Delco/Georgetown/Philadelphia Wings/Boston Cannons), defenseman D.J. Driscoll (Malvern Prep/Notre Dame/ Chicago Machine), face-off specialist Alex Smith (Univ. of Delaware/Washington Bayhawks) and attackman Drew Westervelt (UMBC/Philadelphia Wings/Denver Outlaws).
“Lacrosse in the Lehigh Valley has been growing at an incredible rate in recent years and it is our hope that this trend will continue for many years to come,” said Cassese. “There are new youth organizations surfacing every year and the traditional programs are seeing record participation rates.
“Here at Lehigh University, we are doing everything we can to help the game grow in this area, and we believe hosting this US National Team Exhibition will be a tremendous reward for the players, coaches, and volunteers who are working so hard to put Lehigh Valley Lacrosse on the map.”
Cassese admitted that the game has special meaning for him
“This game will be a special occasion for me personally and especially for my family,” he said. “My family members are some of the most dedicated fans you have ever seen in your life… They have traveled all over the country and the world to watch me play lacrosse during my career. Finally, I get a chance to give them a home game literally right in their backyard.”
The Philadelphia Lacrosse Association has beaten Team USA in an exhibition game twice (in 1998 and 2002) and is the only US Lacrosse chapter hosting an exhibition game. Team USA is playing three exhibition games this summer.
Tthe PLA chose Lehigh University as the site of the game because the Lehigh Valley is an area in the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter with explosive growth in youth and high school lacrosse and also because the Lehigh Laxfest summer lacrosse tournament is being held at Lehigh on June 19-20. The PLA also is excited to showcase Cassese for his role as a Team USA player and head coach of a well-respected staff that has worked hard to organize this event.
The US Team team will compete in the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championships in Manchester, England from July 15-24. In 2006, Team USA took the silver medal at the quadrennial event, falling to Canada in a 15-10 matchup in London, Ontario.
The U.S. Men’s National Team will play two other exhibition games before traveling to England:
Sunday, June 6, 2:30 p.m.
2010 Warrior Major League Challenge – Team USA vs. MLL College Stars
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Tickets: information at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com ($10, $5 for members of CONNY – Connecticut New York Youth Lacrosse Association)
Thursday, July 8, 7:00 p.m.
2010 MLL All-Star Game – Team USA vs. MLL All-Stars
Harvard University (Boston, MA)
Tickets: information at www.majorleaguelacrosse.com ($20)
Also, US Lacrosse has announced the addition of four alternates to the team. The new additions include: Kevin Leveille, attack (The Machine); Lee Zink, defense (Denver Outlaws); Parker McKee, defense (Duke University) and Matt Abbott, midfield (Chesapeake Bayhawks).
“We’re thrilled to bring these guys on board for June and July. They will give us some much-needed depth leading up to Manchester,” says Team USA and Bryant University coach Mike Pressler. “All four of them were right there at the end on the final day of tryouts in October. So, we know what they can bring to the team and there will be no drop off whatsoever when they step on the field. Kevin is a proven scorer and veteran leader. Matt is just an incredible athlete who plays so well between the lines. Lee has a great stick and outstanding defensive awareness. And, Parker has been an absolute animal this spring, at one point leading the nation in groundballs.”