By Tom Peace
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/24/16
TOWSON, Md. – Corrigan Sports Enterprises, Inc. will host the third annual PNC Lacrosse Invitational as announced at a press luncheon today at Cunningham’s restaurant.
The April 1 event will feature Conestoga facing MIAA power Calvert Hall at 7:30 p.m. and DC IAC power Bullis School meeting the MIAA’s Boys’ Latin.
The games will be played on Saturday evening, April 1 at Loyola University of Maryland’s Ridley Athletic Complex
Since the first invitational, PNC has contributed more than $225,000 to Maryland high school lacrosse athletic programs and organizations to support competitive play and broaden access and awareness for the sport.
“After PNC entered the region we knew we wanted to support the one sport that was most iconic to Maryland. Lacrosse was the natural fit,” said Josh Kakel, Market Director, PNC Institutional Asset Management. “PNC’s lacrosse strategy has grown and evolved throughout the years. With the core focus with increasing awareness and accessibility for the sport and supporting local high schools and their student academic and athletic achievements.”
For the first time in the events three-year run, PNC will host a free youth clinic featuring Steele Stanwick, Major League Lacrosse MVP and 2011 Tewaaraton Award winner. The clinic is from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on the practice fields next to the stadium. An autograph session with Stanwick will follow on the stadium concourse level. Youth participants need to register for the clinic in advance. Clinic goers will also receive free admission to the PNC Invitational.
In the second game, Conestoga will face a familiar foe in 11th-ranked Calvert Hall. The teams have played on a regular basis in the last several years. The most notable matchup occurred in 2012 when Conestoga rallied for an 11-10 win over then-No. 1 Calvert Hall.
The Pioneers finished 14-11 in 2015 in coach Brody Brush’s first year with the team, but closed strong by going to the District 1 finals and state tourney. Conestoga lost at home to Calvert Hall, 12-7, last year.
The Pioneers return a solid core with Jack Reilly (Virginia) on defense, along with fellow 2016 Sam Bouhdary (Michigan) on D. Conestoga will have some promising juniors and sophomores, including Tommy Sopko (Bucknell) on attack and frosh, James Reilly (Georgetown) at midfield.
“It is truly an honor for Conestoga to participate in the PNC Invitational,” said Jack Reiily via video message at the luncheon, who due to a prior engagement Conestoga couldn’t attend. “We look forward to testing ourselves against a great program like Calvert Hall.”
The Cardinals wrapped up a 12-6 record in 2015. Even though Calvert Hall lost one of their top scorers in Timmy Kelly to graduation, the Cardinals have a solid group to go up against a wide-open MIAA-A conference this season. Head coach Bryan Kelly will look to his upperclassmen to lead the way. The standout players are seniors, Jack Kinnear (Villanova) on attack, Ethan Mintzer (Maryland) on midfield, Joe McSorley (Boston U) in goal, juniors J.T. Bugliosi (Ohio State) and Brendan Curry (Syracuse) on attack. And its not a Calvert Hall team without a Kelly on the roster as sophomore Jacob Kelly (North Carolina) returns after a monster year in 2015.
“We are thankful that they invited us to play in the (PNC Invitational),” said Kelly. “We alternate locations and we were supposed to play at Calvert Hall this year and it just worked out, and we had to move the date around, it was just perfect that we can play in this event. We are honored and excited. PNC has been a great sponsor for lacrosse.”
Boys’ Latin will meet Bullis in the first game at 5:30 pm. The Bulldogs finished the 2015 season with a 14-5 record under first year head coach Jeff Bellistri and are ranked No. 11 in the C2C North America Preseason Rankings released by TopLaxRecruits.com.
“It is an honor to be here, said Belistri. “Our 2016 season started yesterday so we are a little bit behind then some of the other schools, but that is OK.
“We hope to competitive and look forward to playing Boys’ Latin. Boys’ Latin has a history in Baltimore and nationally and they play the best teams in the country every single year. Last year we had a chance to play Boys’ Latin and came out on the wrong end. We are looking forward to playing them (again) at Loyola University for the PNC Invitational.”
Bullis will be returning a slew of studs all over the lacrosse field. Leading the way on defense for the Bulldogs will be Griff Gosnell (Cornell commit) and Paul Steel (Johns Hopkins). And on the offensive end, 2016s Nick Petkevich (A/M, Colgate), Steven Shollenberger (Attack, Drexel) and 2017 attackman Alex Trippi (North Carolina) lead a potent group.
The Lakers will have a new leader on the sidelines this season for the first time in 26 years as Brian Farrell returns to his alma mater. Farrell, who graduated from BL in 2010, replaces legendary coach Bob Shriver.
The Lakers went 15-5 in 2015 and return some impressive weapons with 2016s with Logan Wisnauskas (Syracuse) on attack and Jack Pezzulla (North Carolina) in goal. Also keep an eye out for a trio of juniors Greg Ey and Jake Glatz, both on midfield and committed to Penn State, and Johns Hopkins commit Luke Schilling on attack.
“We have a new team this year and feel like it’s coming along well,” said Wisnaukaus, who is eager to see how this team looks in a game setting. “We are just bonding together and knowing where we are when we are on the field.”
BL beat Bullis last season, 14-11