Spirit Bolts to Lead at Champion High School Showcase
by Paul Krome | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – If Mackenzie Cyr was looking for some relief from the oppressive heat and humidity in the Mid-Atlantic, she certainly isn't going to find it here.
Luckily, she and roughly 80 of the nation's best high school lacrosse players in the class of 2010 brought with them their best performances to match the soaring Central Florida temperatures.
Cyr (Winters Mill (Md.) HS) scored four goals and added three assists in two games to help Spirit to a 2-0 start Sunday in the 2010 Champion High School Showcase (HSS), a four-team US Lacrosse all-star event, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. US Lacrosse has brought lacrosse to the ESPN Rise Games, an annual multi-sport festival, for the first time with the Champion HSS.
"It's difficult at first, but at these types of events, everyone's good," said Cyr, one of dozens of US Lacrosse All-Americans to comprise the rosters of the four HSS teams, of playing with teammates from as far away as California and Oregon. "So you expect everyone to click."
Cyr (2g, 2a) led a balanced attack as Spirit upended Liberty, 12-7, in a morning game. She was one of 11 goal-scorers, some of whom benefited from three assists by Megan Brown (Menlo (Calif.) School). Kelyn Freedman, one of the top players from the Philadelphia area at Radnor (Pa.) High, led Liberty with three goals and one assist.
In the other morning game, Shannon Burns (Springfield (Pa.) HS) and Taylor Virden (McDonogh (Md.) School) each notched three goals and one assist to carry Pride to an 18-13 win over Freedom. Kaitlyn Brosco (Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) HS) and Krista Grabher (Vero Beach (Fla.) HS) each added a goal and two assists for Pride. Vero Beach teammate Jennifer Leffew and Adeline Reilly (Portledge (N.Y.) School) each tallied a hat trick for the Freedom team.
Under a hot afternoon sun, Cyr scored two goals and dished out an assist as Spirit remained unbeaten with a 14-9 win over Freedom. Meredith Donaldson (St. Andrews (Fla.) School) was a catalyst with three assists and a goal. Melanie Raso (2g, 1a) of Farmingdale (N.Y.) High led Freedom, which dropped to 0-2.
"The thing that kept us ahead was the draws, getting control of them," said Spirit middie Camille Richardson, who's bound for Columbia in the fall after a stellar career at Lawrenceville (N.J.). "It was cool to be a part of that."
"[Camille's] really good at draws," Cyr said of her first opportunity to play with Richardson. "She can pull those with her height. She's fast. She's good."
The other matinee saw Liberty hang on for a 10-9 win over Pride. Kathryn Webster (Christian Brothers (N.Y.) Academy) scored four points (3g, 1a) for Liberty, while Pride goalie Anna Berman (North Rockland (N.Y.) HS) kept her team close with eight saves.
"We're a comeback team," said Pride's Kaitlin Mastropieri, an attacker from Collegiate (Va.). "This morning we were down by four and won by five."
Mastropieri added two goals and an assist during her team's rally against Liberty.
On the geographic diversity infused into each team by the US Lacrosse selection committees, Mastropieri said: "Different styles of play but the same mentality: we're all here to win. We've been able to gel pretty quickly. It's been fun."
The fun and sun continue tomorrow. The girls' portion of the Champion HSS concludes Monday with the last round-robin game at 8 a.m., followed by the bronze medal game at 10 a.m. and the gold medal game at noon. Video for both the consolation and championship games of the girls' event will be available live on www.espn3.com. The boys' portion of the Champion HSS begins Tuesday evening.