In a tournament comprised of 48 of the best high school lacrosse programs in the country last weekend, the question most frequently posed to the squad representing Lincoln-Sudbury was “When did Massachusetts get so good at lacrosse?”
The Warriors attended the invitation-only National High School Lacrosse Showcase in Columbia, Maryland last weekend and outperformed the expectations of many – perhaps including their coach.
The event – which unlike most summertime “hotbed” tournaments is fielded of high school and prep school teams and not travel teams – is coordinated by legendary Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.) coach Bob Shriver and seeks to put attention on the nation’s top programs. The teams are comprised of players who participated with their respective high school teams in the previous year, except for those who have graduated.
Of this year’s field, 90 percent of the teams won their respective district or state championships.
When considering the Warriors were stacked against a pool of teams that consisted of powerhouses such as Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Calvert Hall (Baltimore, Md.), Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.) and St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Fla.), anywhere near a .500 record for the weekend might have been considered a success. But L-S finished 5-1, with its lone loss coming in a 6-4 decision against Calvert Hall (which was ranked 41st in the nation, just ahead of L-S in LaxPower.com’s National Coaches poll).
Although the Warriors’ loss against Calvert Hall knocked them from advancing to the tournament playoff bracket, they finished in the top 10 of the field, earning plenty the respect of their competitors along the way.
“The common theme of the weekend was, ‘Who the [bleep] are these guys?’” Warriors head coach Brian Vona told ESPN Boston.
Because of MIAA rules which prohibit out-of-season coaching, the L-S squad was led by Boston University assistant coach Justin Domingos on the sideline, as well as former Warriors All-American and current Notre Dame LSM and defender John Sexton.
On the field, L-S was carried by many of the familiar faces that helped the Warriors to their first MIAA Division1 state title in 21 years.
Attackman Eric Holden was named to the 20-player all-star team and fellow attack and Merrimack commit Connor McCarthy led the Warriors in scoring. Middie Jack Sutherland provided one of the biggest goals of the tournament, scoring a game-tying goal with 40 seconds remaining in L-S’s 11-10 win over Chaminade. In goal, Trevor Van Leer stood tall despite playing with the same broken finger he suffered during the D1 championship game against Duxbury last month.
Aside from proving that Massachusetts’ best can go stride for stride against the nation’s best, the event serves as a welcome addition to the summertime calendar for college coaches.
Vona reported that he’s received no fewer than a dozen calls from Division 1 coaches since the weekend.
“The college coaches are becoming concerned about only seeing kids play for summer travel teams,” Vona said. “This gives them a great alternative to that, and it’s reflected in the number of schools that attend and the interest I’ve received in our kids. That’s what it’s all about.”