By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/17/17
Thirty-eight teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region competed in a unique event Monday in the Gait Heritage 5v5 Girls Winter Classic at Maplezone Sports Institute in Aston, PA.
The event drew elite teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and featured an hour-long clinic by Syracuse women’s coaching legend Gary Gait and three of his former star players followed by tournaments in five age groups.
Gait, a 10-time NCAA champion as a player and assistant coach, served as a clinician himself (stick work), and brought former Orange players Kasey Mock (defense), Amy Cross (dodging/shooting) and Allie Murray (goalie). Mock (Pottstown grad), Cross (Upper Dublin) and Murray (Downingtown East) were all high school stars in Philly.
Triple H (PA) defeated Penn Charter (PA), 4-3, to win the HS AA championship. Teams employed four players and one goalie in fast-paced 10-minute games that showcased stick skills and ball movement for all players
The overall list of team champions was as follows:
2023 – NXT
2022 – Blue 22 (Ultimate)
2021 – Haddonfield (NJ)
HS A – NXT
HS AA – HHH
“It was a great day and the girls had a lot of fun,” said Colleen Magarity, director of HHH and also head coach at Penn Charter. “The event was great for getting a lot of touches and you have to have good stick work to do well in these types of events.”
Amy Orcutt, who coached Conestoga to the PIAA title in 2016 and was the Phillylacrosse.com Coach of the Year, said the players found many benefits of the fast-paced style.
“It was fast-paced and good for the girls to learn from one of the biggest lacrosse legends ever,” said drcutt, who sent three teams to the event. “The benefit of the small 5v5 setting is it lets girls girls work on their stickwork. There are no offense and defense players – you’re both and that’s good for girls that normally say I am a defender.
“It was so much fun. All my girls said it was the most fun tournament they ever played in. It was a stress free environment and they got to play in front of Gary Gait. Even though we lost some games it was a blast – it was a win-win situation.”
“It was a great opportunity for the girls to meet Gary and run through the clinic stations with him and Kasey, Amy, and Allie.” added Xtreme head coach Mark Pinkerton. “The 5v5 tournament is a fun, fast paced format and the level of competition was strong. Our players really enjoyed the event.”