The groundwork is complete.
The senior lacrosse stars did their part with the hard work they put in over the course of their high school careers, and the selection committees matched them with hours of evaluation.
What’s next for the country’s top 44 boys and girls is word of the good news.
And what’s it like getting the phone call that says you’ve been chosen to play in the prestigious Under Armour All-America Senior Lacrosse Games?
“I’m being completely serious, I like dropped my fork. I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’,” said Glenelg Country attacker Maggie Weisman, a Maryland commit. “It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a big chunk of my life and throughout my lacrosse career. I’ve played with some girls in high school who played in the game and also went off to play at Maryland, so now I’m following in their footsteps. It’s so surreal and I can’t wait to play.”
The 17th Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Games are set for Saturday at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field, with the girls’ game starting at 5:30 p.m. and the boys’ game to follow at 8 p.m. Both will be televised on ESPNU.
For each game, rosters of 22 players representing North and South are compiled and announced in four waves over the spring. As has been the case since the start of the showcase games, which began in 2006, the Baltimore area is well represented this year with 12 girls and eight boys among the 88 players selected.
St. Paul’s graduate Ty Xanders, Inside Lacrosse’s director of recruiting and high school content, heads the committee that selects the boys’ rosters, while Alyssa Murray Cometti, manager of ILWomen, has the lead role in forming the girls’ rosters.
The consistent nationwide growth of the sport since the inception of the event has made the job of selection committees tougher each year. In addition to their own assessments, they lean on a network of high school and college coaches from across the country to provide input.
Players must be in good academic standing and are selected based on their high school and club careers in addition to how they project at the college level.
“We feel this is the biggest individual honor at this level in lacrosse,” Xanders said. “We’re keeping a really close eye on these kids from the moment they make varsity. We want the 44 best players in the country, the most accomplished guys that have put together an incredible stretch over the course of their careers.”
The game has featured a pipeline of area players that have gone on to have illustrious college careers, including nine that were Tewaaraton Award winners.
All six of the women recipients were Maryland stars. Taylor Cummings (McDonogh) was named the top college player in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Katie Schwarzmann (Century) captured the award in 2012 and 2013. Single-year winners were Notre Dame Prep’s Caitlyn McFadden (2010), Roland Park’s Shannon Smith (2011), Marriotts Ridge’s Zoe Stukenberg (2017) and Glenelg’s Megan Taylor (2019).
On the men’s side, Loyola Blakefield’s Steele Stanwick (Virginia, 2011), Boys’ Latin’s Patrick Spencer (Loyola Maryland, 2019) and Boys’ Latin’s Logan Wisnauskas (Maryland, 2022).
Spencer, a two-sport star who now plays professional basketball for Capital City Go-Go in the NBA G League, said playing in the lacrosse summer showcase provided an ideal bridge from his high school career to college.
“The first thing that comes to mind is the honor to play in the game as a whole,” he said. “In high school, you get caught up with a lot of your team stuff and I think just that somebody recognized you for the individual honor — Under Armour as a whole recognized you — is special. You watch that game as a kid growing up and it’s something you always hope to be a part of.”
In the midst of what turned out to be a remarkable senior season, St. Paul’s defender Madison Beale was in her bedroom one afternoon this spring when her phone rang. The call from Murray Cometti, left her at a loss for words.
Soon after: “I screamed to my parents that I made it and they were so excited for me, too,” she said.
The Baltimore Sun’s All-Metro Player of the Year for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Gators is looking forward to Saturday.
“I’m really excited to get the chance to play against a bunch of really good lacrosse players from across the country,” she said. “That was one of my goals going into my senior year, to make the UA All-America game. So that news really made my whole senior lacrosse season that much more special.”
The Under Armour package for the players this weekend includes plenty of new lacrosse gear, a dinner on Friday night with former Navy Seal Rob O’Neill, the guest speaker, and the showcase game that features dazzling play.
Most past participants agree the most special part, however, is further strengthening past relationships and forming new ones.
Like most of the area players, Calvert Hall’s All-Metro attackman Truitt Sunderland grew up watching the game and then saw older teammates play in it.
Now, it’s his turn.
“I’m definitely excited,” the Georgetown commit said. “I can’t really speak on the experience until we get through it and I don’t think it’s hit me yet. But just from former players who have been part of it, I’ve heard nothing but great things, so I’m hoping it lives up to the hype.”
Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Games
At Johns Hopkins’ Homewood Field
Girls: 5:30 p.m.; Boys: 8 p.m.