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Area standouts primed for Under Armour lacrosse game

Area standouts primed for Under Armour lacrosse game
Recent McDonogh School graduate Jacob Stover will be one of five local players participating in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game July 3 (8 p.m.) at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. (BSMG/File photo)

Recent McDonogh School graduate Jacob Stover has had his perseverance pay off in qualifying to play in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game. The Cockeysville resident was cut in three previous tries.

Stover says he didn't make it to the round of the top 88 players for the Baltimore All-Stars in the annual underclassmen games as a freshman or sophomore.

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That's why the goalie and son of longtime Ravens kicker Matt Stover is savoring his spot on the South All-Stars' roster in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game July 3 (8 p.m.) at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The game will bring together the best seniors from across the country and will be televised on ESPNU.

Stover joins four other players from the Baltimore area: St. Paul's midfielder Alex McGovern (North Carolina), Loyola Blakefield midfielder Ryan Conrad (Virgnia), Boys' Latin attackman Patrick Spencer (Loyola University Maryland) and Calvert Hall attackman Timmy Kelly (North Carolina).

St. Paul's goalie AJ Baretto was also chose to participate, but is committed to fulfilling summer military obligations prior to his senior year at West Point.

"It's really an honor to be selected for this game, because I will be one of four goalies in the country to play in it," said Stover, a Loyola University Maryland recruit. "It will be an amazing atmosphere and great to be playing on national television. I need to enjoy the moment I will be in."

Stover helped McDonogh to a 14-5 record and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game — where the Eagles lost to St. Mary's.

Stover, a two-year starter who limited opponents to less than eight goals per contest this spring, made 10 saves in that game, but he is sharply focused on playing better in the Under Armour showcase.

"I won't be in my McDonogh uniform for the first time in a few years," Stover said. "When I played in the championship, I played well, but there was a couple of goals I could have had. Therefore, in this game, I have to play my best. I tried out every year for the (Under Armour) underclassmen team in high school. I have worked really, really hard to prepare, and I played well during that time."

Two close friends who also live in Lutherville, Kelly and Conrad, have been practicing their offense together in order to be ready for the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game.

Inside Lacrosse rated Conrad as the nation's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2015 while Kelly was ranked No. 2.

Kelly amassed 61 goals and 39 assists for the 12-6 Cardinals in 2015.

"I have a couple of good friends on the team and Ryan and I have been practicing a couple of plays we could run," Kelly said of the Under Armour senior game. "We are just hanging out and talking about it. I'm focused on making everyone around me better and see how I do against the best talent in the country."

The Under Armour game sounds like the highlight of a lacrosse career for Conrad, the 2015 Towson Times male Athlete of Year.

"I have been going to these games for a long time, and it's something I have always wanted to do," he said. "I will definitely have a lot of butterflies for this game. You are playing against the best kids in the country, and this game will show if you are ready to be one of the best."

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McGovern is a solid all-around midfielder who earned the 2015 Towson Times Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year honors after totaling 41 goals and 25 assists this season.

He's eager for the Under Armour contest.

"I love playing in big games like this," McGovern said. "I hope I can rise to the occasion."

Before the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game boys game, the girls South All-Stars will face their rivals from the North at 5 p.m.

The South features Bryn Mawr defender Alex Argo (Princeton), St. Paul's defender Julia Braig (Maryland) and three players from McDonogh, midfielder Olivia Jenner (Duke), midfielder and Lutherville resident Elizabeth George (Princeton) and attacker Kelsey Cummings (Maryland).

Roland Park's Francesca Whitehurt and Maryvale's Miranda Obello were also picked for the All-American game, but can't play in it because both are members of t he U.S. Under-19 national team.

"They have worked hard their whole high school careers and this is the culmination of their season and successes," said McDonogh and South coach Chris Robinson, who will run the team with Notre Damp Prep graduate Covie Stanwick. "I want them to have an extremely positive experience and just go out there and really enjoy it. It's become the premier high school event for lacrosse."

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