Since the fifth grade, St. Paul’s senior Paris Colgain would sit in the bleachers at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field, watching the Under Armour All-America Girls Lacrosse Senior Game. She looked up to the girls that graced the field year in and year out, hoping for the day she would have her moment in the spotlight.
On Saturday night, Colgain’s dream turned into reality when she stepped onto the field for the South team along with her fellow high school teammates Christina Gagnon, Leah Warehime and Caitlin McElwee. Although the North walked away with a 16-8 win, this was still a night to remember.
“I think all of us [winning] the [Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference] championship was probably one of the best days of my life,” Colgain said. “But just getting another opportunity to play with some of my best friends is something I’m never going to forget.”
As Colgain, a Johns Hopkins commit, ran around the field providing solid defense, she couldn’t help to think about all the hours spent working to get to this moment.
“I’m a defender and I think it is a little bit more difficult to look flashy when you play,” Colgain said. “To be a standout player when you’re kind of back there not really being the goal scorer just proves you can literally reach anything if you put the work in.”
The North jumped out to an early lead, as the team had six players find the net in the first quarter. North attacker Shira Parower delivered a pair of assists before racing down the field to send the ball past South goalie Emily Lamparter, a Maryland commit from Mt. Sinai, New York.
“I just felt like since the first whistle we came out with a lot of fire and we just wanted to win this game,” said Parower, a James Madison commit from Staples High in Connecticut who tallied two goals and three assists. “We were finishing our shots and kept the going through the whole game.”
After four consecutive failed shot attempts, the South team was able to find the net thanks to a goal by Stanford commit Jordyn Case.
The South team attempted to gain some ground when Maddie Dora (Southern California) connected with Kate Miller (Virginia) to cut the deficit to 6-2 to with 13:21 remaining in the second quarter. The North team answered with a pair of goals by Penn commit Natasha Gorriaran and Virginia commit Rachel Clark.
The North team’s offensive assault continued when attacker Emma LoPinto (Florida) found the net for the second time in the first half. The North went into halftime outshooting the South 23-11.
The players from St. Paul attempted to bring some energy for the North team in the third quarter. McElwee fired a shot into the middle of the net, capitalizing on a South team penalty. Less than a minute later, Gagnon scored to cut the deficit to 11-5.
Parower silenced the North’s scoring run with an unassisted goal that gave her team a seven-goal advantage. McElwee scored her second goal of the game off an assist from Mattie Shearer (Duke) to trim the South’s lead to 13-6. Both Parower and McElwee will play for James Madison next season.
“I wish I could have been on the same side as [Parower],” McElwee said jokingly. “To see what she accomplished during that game was amazing and I am just so excited to be part of the James Madison next year.”
The South team wasn’t going away quietly, as Kate Miller cut the North’s lead down to 15-8 with a goal in the fourth quarter. LoPinto put a stamp on the North team’s victory with her third goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Loyola Maryland commit Chase Boyle, the game’s Most Valuable Player, netted two goals. She was one of nine players on the North team to score.
Warehime was on the sideline but didn’t play for the South because of an injury. That allowed Lamparter to spend the entire game in the net, where she set the Under Armour All-America record for the most saves in a game with 14.
“To go here and set the record against all these amazing players that are ridiculous shooters, is just amazing,” Lamparter said. “It did not feel real when I was in the net.”