Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/31/21
From Press Release
Two from Philly and two from Central PA were named as Heather Leigh Albert finalists this past weekend at the USA Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament (Bel Air, MD), an event featuring more than 800 of the top high school girls’ lacrosse players in the country.
Central PA’s Anna Kaplan (Twin Valley junior, member of PA Express 2022) was named as the HLA winner, the top player in the tournament. She was joined by Philly’s Gabrielle Koury (Owen J. Roberts HS) and Lucy Pearson (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) and Central PA’s Rowan Kimmel (Lampeter-Strasburg HS) as well as Jayne Feeney (MA/RI) and Georgia’s Clark Hamilton (Blessed Trinity Catholic HS) as finalists.
Kaplan’s Twin Valley team will begin first round play in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association 2A state tournament on Tuesday. The HLA award, first presented in 1994, has a distinguished list of alumni, including seven players who went on to win gold medals with the U.S. national team program.
One of the recent recipients, 2017 winner Katie Detwiler, was an All-American at Loyola this season and will compete in next month’s U.S. women’s senior team tryouts. Like Detwiler, Kaplan is headed to Loyola.
“Winning this award was a huge honor,” said Kaplan. “I was completely shocked too because of all the talented girls that played in this tournament.
“My goal coming into the tournament was to play as hard as I can and show my skills. I wanted to also show off my teammates’ skills by setting them up for good goals and defense stops.”
Kaplan’s team went 2-2, but fared well.
“My team played amazing,” she said. “We went 2-2, but the (record) did not reflect our hustle and competitiveness.
“The competition was incredible. I was expecting there to by amazing talent which is helpful for going into states. This event has prepared me by playing against girls I am not familiar with. The teams in states are people you don’t get to play against often so we have to be prepared for anything. And we will be.”
Virginia completed a dominant run through the Green Division, beating Philly 4 by a 15-3 score in the championship game. Virginia scored 74 goals in its four tournament victories. Kaitlyn Bestick led Virginia with three goals and Mia Mauer, Martha Oakey and Sarah Thomson each scored twice. Rachel Hines made five first half saves while allowing just one goal for Virginia. Philly’s goals came from Sarah Ernst, Lauren Hallman and Mia Zebley.