By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/4/21
When team Philly dropped its opener, 13-6, to Long Island, few may have suspected Philly would emerge as one of the top teams in the Under Armour Underclass All-America Tournament last weekend in Maryland.
But after four straight wins – including a thrilling overtime victory over Baltimore in the semifinals – there was Philly facing top-seeded Long island for the title Sunday on ESPN.
Philly gave a valiant effort, falling 10-8, in he final, but not before proving its mettle as a worthy contender for the crown.
“I think we all figured out each other’s strengths after the first game and learned what everyone liked to do and used those strengths to our advantage,” said Archbishop Carroll 2022 midfielder Kiley Mottice a North Carolina commit who earned All-Tournament honors. “Our entire team was also very unselfish which helped us to score a lot and then we really started to click as a team and focused on working hard and having fun – which helped us to get to the championship.”
In the title game. Gabby Koury (Owen J. Roberts) had three goals and All-Tourney pick Sydney Wilson (Agnes, Irwin, 2022 Florida commit) had a pair. Mottice had 12 goals overall; meanwhile, Kate Galica (Conestoga, 2023) tied for second with 13 goals. Also, Wilson’s twin sister, Carly (Agnes Irwin), also a Florida commit, was listed as the ESPN Player to Watch.
“Since our team was pretty young, I think we were getting all of our jitters out and working out all of the kinks during the first game against Long Island,” said Carly Wilson. “We also began to play more as a team and started worrying less about individual successes after our first game. We were also very lucky to have our assistant coaches and head coach Lorraine Beers (Archbishop Carroll) help us refocus on the little things.
“Even though we had a tough loss in the championship, I think that our persistence and grit really showed throughout the tournament. Pulling out 4 straight wins, especially our OT win against Baltimore that was ironically similar to our win 2 years ago (in Command) against Baltimore with Emma Talago’s game winner, and getting into the finals but falling just short also proved that Philly is a region that people shouldn’t underestimate and I think that is really important.”
Said Mottice: “Even though it was difficult losing in the championship, Under Armour this year was very successful for us as we went undefeated in our pool and beat a strong Baltimore team in overtime in the semifinals.”
In the overtime win over Baltimore, Emma Talago (2022 MF, Carroll, Loyola commit) scored off a Mottice feed. One of the other highlights of the event was getting to play the title game on ESPN3 with Radnor’s Booker Corrigan, a popular lacrosse broadcaster doing the game.
“It was an incredible experience to be able to play on ESPN as that is something not many people get to do especially at such a young age,” said Mottice. “It was even better that it was such a close game the entire time. Under Armour really made this such a great experience throughout the weekend and it’s always great to join together with very talented players and amazing coaches from Philly and to all represent Philly lacrosse.
“It gave me a little taste of what it might be like playing in big college games,” added Carly Wilson.
Sydney Wilson said the tourney was a grand success:
“I think the experience of the whole weekend coming into the championship game made us more confident in our team chemistry. Coach Lorraine Beers also was pivotal in our championship run because she knew who played well together and how to get the best out of all of us.
“I am so proud of our team making it to the championship even though we fell short because for all the years I played in Under Armour, we never made it that far. It was so exciting to see the growth our team had over the weekend and the team’s unselfish play really proved to be effective in making it to the Championship.”