By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/9/13
A group of 75 players from around the state competed today in the inaugural Pride of Pennsylvania Lacrosse Showcase at Cabrini College.
The event featured three teams competing in a tournament-style format. The players were chosen from two tryouts held in the state’s Central region and at The Hill School (East); from the games played today 25 will be picked to represent Pennsylvania at the Brine NLC July 1-3 at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md.
Nearly all of the players have not committed to play college lacrosse and are seeking added exposure and a chance to compete against other elite players. The Brine NLC, now in its sixth year, features teams from regions throughout the country.
In today’s championship game, Team Liberty scored three second-half goals to claim a 3-2 victory over Team Virtue. Rising senior Greg Farris (Southern Lehigh High, Lehigh University commit) tallied the game-winner and Liberty’s second-half goalie, La Salle rising senior Colin MacDougall made five saves.
“I think I have a good shot after today,” said MacDougall, who is hoping to play Division I lacrosse. “If I make it, I just want to keep playing my best and get the word out to coaches to see me play.”
MacDougall had to regain his focus after being part of La Salle’s 13-4 state championship victory Saturday over Conestoga at HersheyPark Stadium.
“I just came out to have fun,” he said. “I felt that I played well and saw the ball well.
“All my friends were going down to the beach, so that was kind of hard. But I came into this knowing I still had work to do. I had to buckle down one last time and play well today.”
The Pride Games, launched last year by the Brine NLC in Florida, have expanded this year to include Showcases in PA, as well as Ohio (held today), New England (Saturday) and Maryland (Thursday). The Pride of Florida Games were held Jun 1-2 and featured teams from four regions for boys and two for girls.
In the Pride Games, tryouts are held to choose two or more full teams in order to give evaluators a lot of time to select the top players for the region’s Brine NLC team. The Pride Games also have drawn colleges coaches seeking top recruits, so all players that make the Pride Games have been receiving more exposure.
The evaluators for the PA Pride Games chose the players from several hundred that came to the tryouts, without names attached to numbers. Again today, the final PA team was chosen by a large group of evaluators who picked players without knowing their names.
Parkland freshman midfielder Nolan Ridgway (team Virtue) enjoyed the format of the Games and was impressed by the competition.
“I liked the way they set it up because it was a good way to meet people you never played with in your life,” he said. “They were from all over PA and it was great to see who the best in the state were.
“The players were very good and it made me step it up and work a lot harder. You had players from Conestoga and big schools so that made everyone play harder.”
The Pennsylvania team will be coached by Hill School assistant Kacy Small (Team 380 Lacrosse head coach) and Central Region’s Doug Bailey (Elizabethtown assistant and former longtime Hempfield head coach). The final roster will be released in several days.
For more information about the National Lacrosse Classic and the Brine National All-Star Lacrosse Academy for middle school boys and girls, click here.