The 13th Under Armour All America Lacrosse Tournament was a hot one both in talent and summer temperatures!! The excitement was palpable and the competition was fierce.
The preparation started months in advance as planning began for regional tryouts, the marquee event, the Under Armour All American Senior Games, and the Under Amour Underclass Tournament! A new region was added to bring the total to 12 teams that would travel to Towson to rep their region. The newest region, CONNY, would be comprised of athletes representing Eastern NY and Connecticut.
The Delta Hotel Baltimore Hunt Valley once again played host to the underclass teams and was the headquarters for the much anticipated uniform pickup. Athletes began arriving on Wednesday, June 27 as competition for the Command Division got underway on Thursday, June 28. Baltimore faced Philadelphia to kick things off for the girls while the CONNY girls Command team faced New Jersey in their first ever tournament matchup. On the boys’ fields, Command competition was fierce as each game was decided by four goals or less during the first day of action.
Off the field that night, Under Armour hosted the underclass coaches for dinner at their incredible new headquarters, Building 37, in downtown Baltimore before treating them to a VIP shopping experience at the UA Brand House in Harbor East. Always a night of good times and good company. Back at the Delta, the Command Division banquet was held to recognize the athletes representing each region.
While the underclassmen showcased their skills on the fields, the senior UA All Americans began arriving at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Baltimore where they met their teammates and got geared up with custom All America gear from Under Armour and Cascade!
Command Division competition continued on Friday with Baltimore girls and New Jersey girls remaining undefeated through day two. On the boys’ side, Baltimore, South, and West remained unbeaten as day two came to a close. The Highlight Division joined in on the fun on Friday as well with each region battling hard through pool play. In the boys’ bracket, Baltimore, DC, New England, and Upstate NY finished 2-0 while Long Island, South, New England and New Jersey girls were also 2-0 through day one. The female athletes invited to compete in the Uncommitted Games also got a chance to showcase their skills on Friday as the tournament was in full swing!
Saturday was full of excitement as the Underclass teams continued to battle for the top spots while the senior All Americans visited UA House and spent the morning teaching the sport of lacrosse to children from Baltimore City. Command girls didn’t let off the gas on day three as the level of play continued to rise with several close games. The Southwest topped Philly 10-9 to start the day with Washington DC prevailed over CONNY just two games later 8-7. The Highlight girls saved the excitement for the of the day with Baltimore battling from a three goal deficit to beat DC 10-9 while CONNY held on to beat a tenacious West team 12-11. Up the street on the boys’ fields, the Command teams continued to battle and the South remained as the only unbeaten team as pool play concluded. Temperatures were hot but the Baltimore Highlight team was hotter and took the top spot on the boys’ side heading into the playoffs.
For the second consecutive year, the Under Armour All America Senior Girls’ game was decided in overtime. The South’s Erin Bakes netted the game winner just 12 seconds into the extra stanza to give her squad the 10-9 victory. It was Bakes’ second goal of the contest and helped earn her MVP honors.
The first half witnessed history, as South goalie, Rachel Hall, set a new event record by allowing only two goals in one half. Combined with a stellar defensive effort for the first 30 minutes, the South led 6-2 at half.
The North came roaring back and scored two goals in the final 1:25 to force the extra session. Meaghan Tyrell and Shonly Wallace each posted two goals to lead the North in scoring.
During the boys’ game, the South erupted out of the gates early, springing to a 7-1 lead after the first quarter. MVP Nicky Solomon scored three, of his game high four, goals in the opening quarter.
The remainder of the game was played relatively even, as the 22-15 final score would indicate. North goalie Patrick Burkinshaw posted an impressive 13 saves, just one save shy of tying the event record.
The South domination at face-off proved to be a determining factor. Mike Sisselberger won 25 of 41 face-offs, enabling his teammates in the white jerseys to possess the ball for most of the game.
Solomon’s four points led all scorers. Seven different players had three points.
On Sunday, it was time to crown the Underclass Tournament champions!! On the girls’ Command side, Baltimore and Long Island took the top two seeds getting first round byes but both teams were eliminated as Washington DC and New Jersey advanced to the championship! New Jersey held on to defeat a strong DC team to win their first Command championship 12-11!! On the highlight girls’ side, Long Island and New England, no strangers to the top spots, sat in the top two seeds and eventually met in the championship game with Long Island taking home the title for the second year in a row.
Newcomer region, CONNY, showed they were a force in the boys’ Command Division taking the #2 seed while the South Command boys grabbed the top spot in the bracket. But it was the West Command team that gets the bragging rights for 2018 as they topped CONNY 7-6 in a thriller of a game! The boys’ Highlight playoffs came down to Baltimore versus Washington DC in a battle of the beltways with Baltimore capping off the weekend undefeated with the title of boys’ Highlight champions!
A HUGE thank you to all of the players, coaches, families, officials, sponsors, and staff all of which helped make the 13th Under Armour All America Lacrosse Tournament weekend the best one yet!