By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/2/22
Marissa White said competing with Team Heather Leigh Albert in the 50th Vail Lacrosse Shootout this week was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“All the girls invited to be on the team are tremendous players with excellent skills and lacrosse IQs,” said the recent Agnes Irwin graduate (Phantastix) and USA Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American who is headed to North Carolina. “Still, it was after listening to Gene and Sean Albert shares memories of Heather’s love and passion for lacrosse that the team was bonded together with emotion to play for Heather and the HLA foundation.
“Also, we discussed giving our best efforts every time we step on the field for all of those who may not have the same opportunities to compete. The common goal of representing the HLA Foundation allowed everyone to come together with a shared purpose that went beyond lacrosse, honoring Heather.”
Team HLA was formed in honor of Heather Leigh Albert, who passed away at 21 in 1993. She played at Germantown Academy and Perkiomen School and attended Loyola and Villanova. She was known for her passion of the sport of lacrosse and everyone around her.
Team HLA is a perennial favorite at Vail and Thursday the squad – featuring White, Darcy Felter (Penn Charter, USA Lacrosse and UA All American) and Anna Kaplan (Twin Valley, Berks County MVP) – and other elite players from around the country claimed the Scholastic Girls’ championship with a hard-fought 6-5 win over Hero’s Green (MD).
“The competition was great,” said White. “There were a lot of strong club teams from the East Coast that we played and also a few teams from Colorado that were very competitive. It was really fun to play with the top girls in the country and be able to play at such a high level.
“All the girls on the team have high lacrosse IQs and are so athletic that we were able to quickly move the ball and play really fast against our opponents.”
White earned All-Tournament honors for being one of the team’s top scorers at midfield. Her final game with high school players will be late this month in the Under Armour Senior All-American Game July 30 at Johns Hopkins.
“Playing on a highly skilled team where all the girls are super talented and competitive helps to prepare to play at the college level,” she said. “We played hard and fast, an expectation at the next level. The team was coached by Kathy Jenkins, Celine Cunningham, and Sean Albert, who helped push us to our fullest potential on the field and held us accountable, which will translate to college.”
How was it playing in Vail, known as one of the elite venues in the country for lacrosse?
“The weather was absolutely beautiful, playing in the valley with mountain peaks surrounding the field,” White said. “It was incredible. The whole atmosphere of playing in Vail was so awesome and nothing I had ever experienced.
“The altitude was an adjustment for the first game, but we had traveled out a few days before the tournament, so we could adjust and get acclimated.”
The title game was played in a torrential downpour. Team HLA, which defeated Hero’s, 12-7, earlier in the tourney, rallied from a 4-3 halftime deficit to claim the win.
“This victory felt so much more than just winning a lacrosse game,” said White. “The team had battled and was determined to win the championship for the HLA foundation and the legacy of Heather Albert.
“I feel so lucky to be part of a tradition so special in the women’s lacrosse community,” she concluded. “The friendships and memories created on this trip are something I will continue to cherish and will be long-lasting.”
Team 180 Black
Team 180 Yellow
Stars Light Blue
10th Mountain Lax
Team HLA – Kori Edmonson – MVP
Team HLA – Marissa White (Agnes Irwin) – Midfield
Team HLA – Emmy Pascal – Midfield
Hero’s Green – Camryn Pfundstein – Midfielder
Hero’s Green – Frannie Hahn – Attack
Hero’s Green – Ava Welsh – Goalie
Hero’s White – McKenzie Shakespeare – Defense
Houston Heat – Olivia Zander – Midfield
Stars Light Blue – Chloe Lambert – Midfield
Team 180 Black – Molly Threlkeld – Attack
10th Mountain – Sydney Tannaci – Midfield
Wasatch – Siena Fairbanks – Midfield
Tags: Agnes Irwin