2008 U.S. U19 Team Well Represented in NCAAs
US Lacrosse's men's national team leadership must've known something when they gathered in 2007 at UMBC to select the under-19 team that would represent the USA in the following year's Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 World Championship.
Not only did the coaches and selection committee members pick the players that would lead Team USA to the gold medal, but they picked players who went on to have some terrific college careers. Quite a few of them were on display at the NCAA men's championship weekend in Baltimore.
A rundown, by college, of '08 U19 team alumni:
Division I Champion Virginia
Attackman Steele Stanwick is a finalist for the Tewaaraton Award, which will be announced this evening at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. He made the All-Tournament Team. Defenseman Bray Malphrus and goalie Adam Ghitelman also made the All-Tournament Team. Two more Cavs, Rhamel and Shamel Bratton, contributed to the team this season before suspensions ultimately cost them their seasons.
Division I Runner-up Maryland
Attackman Ryan Young had a goal in Monday's final. He was an inspiration to many the season, forging ahead as his mother, Maria, succumbed to pancreatic cancer in April after a three-year battle. Defenseman Max Schmidt helped the Terps limit four tournament foes to just 24 total goals.
Division I Semifinalist Duke
LSM CJ Costabile battled through injury at times this season, but no one will forget his championship-winning goal last year. Middie Justin Turri struggled in the semis against Maryland but was a consistent offensive threat this season.
Division III Champion Salisbury
Attackman Tony Mendes, who originally signed with Maryland before transferring to Syracuse, has overcome some injuries and finally found a home with the Sea Gulls. He was one of their leading scorers this season.
Former US Lacrosse Men's Division director Jody Martin must be smiling.
There were plenty of other stars on that team that played for other college teams that didn't advance to Memorial Day weekend. Among them: defensemen Joel White and John Lade (Syracuse), midfielder Matt Dolente (Johns Hopkins), attackman Andrew Feinberg and defenseman Peter Fallon (Brown), and attackman Dean Gibbons (Harvard).
Quite a group.
We'll see how well US Lacrosse officials select the next U19 team. Roughly 120 of the nation's top players have been invited to try out for the 2012 U.S. U19 squad in July at UMBC. We'll have more on that at LaxMagazine.com and USLacrosse.org as the tryout gets closer.