By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/14/22
WILMINGTON, Del. – Owen Orpana had to drive 8 hours from his home in Guelph, Ontario, to attend Saturday’s Victory Events Liberty National Elite Fall Showcase at Chase Fieldhouse.
The trip was well worth the effort.
“It was an 8-hour grind,” said Orpana, a 2024 midfielder from 1Lax and John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute. “I was supposed to meet another player from my town down there, but he (recently) committed and didn’t attend. I decided to follow through and give it a shot.”
Orpana’s shot looked strong. He earned the Showcase MVP (see the all-showcase team at bottom) and impressed himself in a rare opportunity to play field lacrosse.
8 hour grind
“It was a really good experience,” he said. “I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but I also was excited. The college coaches coached me very well, I liked that they were very interactive with me.
“And I had a lot of good guys on my team. As a Canadian, not using my off dominant hand in those drills is pretty scary. But I like to challenge myself.”
Orpana enjoyed the format of the event, which saw teams playing 20-minute games with small breaks. “I really liked it personally,” he said. “I don’t like waiting a lot in between games. We’d get a 20-minute rest after a few games, and I liked the competition. Everyone competed hard, I really enjoyed it.”
Orpana, who has played mostly box lacrosse, said he adjusted quickly to the large-field play.
“I was proud of myself for keeping up with those guys,” he said. “I don’t play a lot of field, so playing at that speed was big for me. I thought it (the pace) was really quick, but I was getting on groundballs, and getting back well. I’m an offensive player in box, but I know I can play both sides of the field. I think that’s a good aspect of my game.”
Orpana said he is focusing on the type of college where he’ll be happy to do more than just play a sport.
“I want to be there for 4 years and I want to be comfortable there,” he said. “I also want to have fun; I don’t want it to be all business.
“I want to have good teammates, guys that treat me well. I find that on the teams I have been on everyone is very respectful. As far as distance, I want to be no more than 6 to 8 hours away, but it would be nice to be closer.”
What is Orpana working on the most right now?
“I think my shot,” he said. “I know I have a very good shot when planting my feet. But in box we don’t do much shooting on the run. I want to be able to beat my defenseman and shoot off him.”
Others that excelled (all-showcase selections):
Goalie Patrick Hogan, 2024, Brotherhood, Ramapo High School (NJ)
“I just wanted to have fun playing lacrosse. I saw a lot of shots and the defense was good so I could see them well. It helped me settle and make some big saves. The big thing is communication. You’re meeting new kids and learning their names quickly. I think my biggest strengths are my communication skills and clears and I take pride in stopping the ball!”
D-MID/Specialist Todd Harrison, 2023, True Philly, Roman Catholic High School (PA)
“My goal was to outwork everyone and make sure I was staying on guys’ hips and clearing the ball well. The big goal was to get every groundball; I feel I succeeded with that. I felt I was good on the ground, making the right passes, and making the clears on the fastbreak. I think my strengths are my ability to go two ways, push the fastbreak, make the right passes to the attack, to not let attackmen bully me from X, show my communication skills, and my hustle and my ability to do the little things. I also try to be that anchor on the defense even if I don’t have a long pole.”
LSM Malakhi Berry, 2024, TC Select, Hopkins High School (MN)
“During the showcase my aggressiveness and constant pursuit of the ball went well. My top strengths are my stick skills and my ability to clear the ball under pressure. I learned from this event that I can’t stop here; I have to keep getting out there and keep getting seen by coaches to try to get my name out there and that this is just the start.”
2022 Liberty National Elite Fall All-Showcase Team
Position Name Grad Year Club Team High School
Attack Max Garcia 2024 Brotherly Love, Alexis I DuPont High School (DE)
Attack Reece Millison 2024 Dukes Elite, Archmere Academy (DE)
Attack Braden Shultz 2025 Team 11, The Hill School (PA)
MVP Midfield Owen Orpana 2024 1Lax, John F. Ross Collegiate (Ontario, Canada)
Midfield Jacob Miller 2025 Upstate Salt Kings, Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA)
Midfield Landen Ciran 2024 IM3, Ephrata High School (PA)
FOGO James Stanton 2024 Upstate Salt Kings, Christian Brothers Academy (NY)
D-MID Specialist Todd Harrison 2023 True Philly, Roman Catholic High School (PA)
LSM Malakhi Berry 2024 TC Select, Hopkins High School (MN)
Defense Robert Schaeffer 2023 Harvest, Victor High School (NY)
Defense Colin Manville 2025 Bucks Select, Pennridge High School (PA)
Defense Jack Keller 2024 Freedom, Conestoga High School (PA)
Goalie Patrick Hogan 2024 Brotherhood, Ramapo High School (NJ)
Tags: Roman Catholic