By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/10/11
A group of 18 lacrosse players with Philly ties will learn Monday whether they will be among the 23 picked to represent the United States in Turku, Finland next year for the Federation of International (FIL) World U-19 men’s championships.
The players were among 122 that were invited to try out Thursday through today at UMBC.
The Philly group included five members of Haverford School’s undefeated national champion squad, led by recent grads Conor Kelly (goalie, headed to Notre Dame), Hup Hupfeldt (attackman, Penn), Brendan McGrath (midfielder, Princeton) and Matt Walters (midfielder, Syracuse) and rising senior Will McNamara (midfielder/LSM, Virginia).
Kelly said the competition was keen.
“Being able to try out for the U-19 team was amazing,” he said. “We really lucked out in being under the cutoff age.
“Just going up against the best competition in the country all week long and going sometimes three times a day, you could just tell how much everyone wanted to make it. And for those who do make it, there’s going to be nothing better in the world than having the opportunity to play for your country next summer in Finland.”
“It was an honor to be involved in such a prestigious tryout with so many talented players from around the country,” added McGrath, who also helped Haverford School finish 23-0 this year and earn the mythical national championship. “The evaluation process was very organized.”
Said Hupfeldt: “It was an awesome experience just to be asked to try out. The level of competition there was unbelievable.”
Also trying out were three players from La Salle, rising juniors Matt Rambo (attackman) and Sean Coleman (midfielder) and recent grad and attackman Kevin Forster (Maryland). Two Conestoga rising seniors made the list – defenseman Jamie Ikeda (Duke) and attackman Bradlee Lord (Maryland) – as well as two recent grads from Germantown Academy, defenseman Bobby Tait (Syracuse) and attackman Beau Jones (Delaware).
Others included: recent Salesianum School (DE) grad Ryan Kilpatrick (defenseman, North Carolina), recent Bridgewater-Raritan (NJ) alum Tyler Barbarich (Twist Lacrosse, midfielder, Univ. of Delaware), and Norfolk Academy rising senior defenseman David Best (committed to Penn).
“It was a great experience,” said Kilpatrick, whose Sals won the Delaware state championship. “It was awesome to match up against the top talent in the country.”
The Philly contingent also consisted of four players that just completed their freshman years in college: Penn State attackman Shane Sturgis (Downingtown East, Lehigh defenseman Ty Souders (Emmaus), Delaware midfielder Connor McRoy and Villanova defenseman Chris Piccirilli.
Tait suffered a knee injury early in the tryout process Friday and was not able to continue.