Local standouts on losing end in both Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Games; Luebecker and Burlace score three goals each for girls and boys, respectively
by Nelson Coffin
Losing stinks, even in games that are purported to be showcase events that are not meant to be an indication of future success.
While the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Games are prestigious events, the outcome of the All-Star skirmishes are of little consequence in the long term of a player’s career.
The South fell in both encounters, 14-13 in overtime in the girls game and 24-22 in the boys tilt.
Even so, the local players who earned spots on the South All-Star rosters — attackers Victoria Hensch (Marriotts Ridge) and Hannah Leubecker (homeschooled), midfielders Shay Ahearn (Glenelg Country School), Kate Sites (Glenelg Country School), Julia Dorsey (McDonogh), Blair Pearre (McDonogh), Shelton Sawers (St. Paul’s School for Girls), Emma Schettig (McDonogh), and Kiki Shaw (Roland Park Country School) and goalie Amber Bustard (RPCS) for the girls and attackman Jack Sawyer (Calvert Hall) and long-stick middie Brian Burlace (St. Mary’s) for the boys — gave their best effort in the televised double-header held at venerable Homewood Field on Saturday evening.
Burlace and Leubecker, who scored three goals each for their respective teams, said that they were thrilled to have been part of such a gathering of lacrosse notables from the Class of 2019.
Leubecker scored the tying goal for the South with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, although it all went for naught when Livi Lawton caught an outstanding pass from goalie Delaney Sweitzer to end the game in OT.
“I was waiting for the slide to come, and it never did,” said Leubecker, one of five Maryland commits on the South roster.
That goal also wiped out the Bustard’s heroics after she made a key save to keep the score tied and give her team possession in OT.
Once the South cleared the ball and went into its settled offense, Hensch then tried an inside role to confront Sweitzer from the doorstep.
Sweitzer was up to the task, however, and a few seconds later the game was over.
“I thought I could sneak it by her,” Hensch said. “But she’s a really good goalie. I just have to learn from my mistake.”
Nevertheless, Ahearn said the experience of playing on such a big stage was not only “surreal,” it also had many other benefits.
“I got to meet a ton of new girls with one thing in common — they all love lacrosse,” she said. “And we went full throttle 100 percent of the time.”
Burlace said before the boys game that he “was excited to get up and down the field to show what I can do.”
What the VSN Defensive Player of the Year showed is that Yale is getting a very offensive-minded defenseman, whose play at both ends of the field will be a major asset for the Bulldogs.
Sawyer said being selected to the team was “a huge accomplishment after all the hard work” he put into a senior campaign in which he scored 39 goals and added 28 assists for the three-time defending MIAA A Conference champs.
The Maryland commit also said that he liked the prospect of playing with Burlace after playing against the Saints’ star during the regular season and in the A Conference final in which he contributed a goal and five assists in the Cardinals’ 15-7 victory.
“I’ve played against him for many years,” Sawyer said. “And it’s cool to be playing with him now.”
Pictured above: Calvert Hall attackman Jack Sawyer (left) and St. Mary’s long-stick middie Brian Burlace played for the South All-Stars in the Under Armour All-America Boys Lacrosse Game on Saturday at Homewood Field.