By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/4/12
Wantagh (N.Y.) junior midfielder Brenna Connolly had to be one of the most thankful girls to compete Saturday at the Philly Girls Showcase at Westtown School.
Coming from Long Island, Connolly saw first-hand the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy the past week.
“It’s scary, Wantagh is on the water and I know at least five people whose houses were completely destroyed,” she said. “We didn’t have school all well. Luckily, we lost only our power and we had a little bit of flooding and some trees down. We had a lot of family over our house staying due to the power outages.”
Connolly was one of only a few Long Island girls that made it to the Philly Showcase, which featured 225 elite players in the classes of 2013, 2014 and 2015 and 2016. The event is run by NXTsports.
“I made the trip up here; I wanted to get here and get away from the chaos,” she said. “There was a little bit of traffic because everybody was trying to get out of New York.”
The trip was well worth it for Connolly, who was named to the Fab 40 All-Star Game for the 2013/2014 classes.
“It was a lot of fun meeting new friends and getting out to play,” she said. “It was great competition in all different ages. It was cold, but the weather was good.”
Meanwhile, Ward Melville sophomore midfielder Morgan Graham was happy to make the trip to Philly. She was still without power at her home.
“We lost our power but no trees fell down,” said Graham. “I have been staying at home, but I have been showering at my gym.
“The competition is always good and I feel I did OK. I wanted to improve my skills.”
Fab 40 Game MVPs
Cocalico sophomore goalie Lauren Marte was named the Phillylacrosse.com Fab 40 2015/16 All-Star Game MVP after making seven saves and helping the Black team claim an 18-8 victory.
“I didn’t really have any goals for the tournament, I just wanted to have fun – and I did, mission accomplished!” she said. “It’s especially important to have that attitude for a goalie. It’s a mental game.”
Marte, who led Cocalico (20-4) to the state semifinals last year, is a diminutive but quick and aggressive goalie.
“I feel like I come out of the goal and crease more often than other goalies do,” she said. “I think that’s to my advantage when I go into the cage.
“I think I did a lot better in the all-star game since I had practice during the day (three morning session game). I was a little rusty, but when I got into the games I was a lot better.”
Junior goalie Melanie Reilly of Bishop Sullivan (Va.) made the trip to Philly Friday from Chesapeake. She earned Game MVP in the 2013/14 game by helping the Black team tie the White team, 8-8. Reilly played the entire game and made several outstanding stops.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to be seen by college coaches in the Northeast,” she said. “I expected the competition to be really good – and it was!”
Reilly was one of four Virginia girls to play in the 2013/14 Fab 40 game. Two of them – Georgia Breit and Kaytren Bruner – play for Cape Henry Collegiate – the team that toppled Bishop Sullivan in the playoffs last year.
“I think I played well today,” said Reilly. “I learned a lot about teamwork. I think this tournament was great because lacrosse back home is not as good as it is here.”
Philly clubs well represented
Thirteen Brandywine Majors were named to the Fab 40 All-Star list:
White Team All-Stars
Erica Coyne, midfield, 2014 Select Team
Dana Davis, midfield, 2014 Select Team
Sabrina Fusco, attack, 2014 Select Team
Paige Mitros, goalie, 2014 Select Team
Black Team All-Stars
Molly Savage, defense, 2014 Select Team
Haley Warden, midfield, 2014 Select Team
White Team All-Stars
Rachel Glenn, defense, 2015 Select Team
Michelle Koscinski, defense, 2016 Select Team
Black Team All-Stars
Emily Mathewson, midfield, 2016 Select Team
Alison Pantazes, midfield, 2015 Select Team
Emily Pantazes, midfield, 2015 Select Team
Madison Valerio, midfield, 2015 Select Team
Rachel Warden, defense, 2016 Select Team
Meanwhile, eight members of the Phantastix earned All-Star status while seven from PA Express were named. Also representing Philly region and New Jersey club teams in the All-Stars games were players from Ultimate, Quaker City, 380, X-treme (including a game MVP), SEPA, Dynamite, Mongoose, HEADstrong, Lenape Premier, South Jersey Devils, Envy, Spirit Select, Lehigh Valley Stream, South Jersey Select, STEPS Elite and Tri-State.