By Tom Peace
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 3/11/17
BALTIMORE, Md. – In its fourth year the PNC Invitational is trying something different. For the first time the high school lacrosse doubleheader on April 8th will include a girls’ lacrosse game.
And wow what a big game, indeed.
Washington D.C. area powerhouse Good Counsel will travel to Ridley Athletic Complex on the campus of Loyola University to face powerhouse McDonogh School (MD), which has won 155 straight games and has been the No 1 team in any rankings this entire decade.
The matchups for the event were officially announced Wednesday at a press conference at Mt. Washington Tavern.
In the past, the folks at PNC Bank and Corrigan Sports Enterprises have brought four of the best boys teams in High School lacrosse to play in the two-game card. Two teams from the MIAA A-Conference would do battle against either a top team from D.C. or Philadelphia.
Bullis, the defending Wasbhington DC IAC champion, returns for the second year in a row to battle MIAA power Loyola-Blakefield in the boys’ game.
Lee Corrigan, president of CSE, “It’s been a privilege to provide a Division I game day experience for the area’s premier student-athletes via this invitational. PNC’s support has helped grow the sport tremendously, and many players have developed into collegiate stars at their respective universities.”
Back in the fall when the games were announced, PNC Bank agreed to a new three year-deal to continue to put on this fantastic event.
“It’s a very special opportunity for boys and girls to play in this event.” said Loyola-Blakefield coach Ben Rubeor on Wednesday at the PNC Invitational press luncheon.
Good Counsel and McDonogh will open at 5 p.m.. The Eagles have run off an incredible seven straight undefeated seasons and eight straight IAAM championships. McDonogh – ranked No. 1 in the Summit Lacrosse North America Rankings – always reloads in the talent department and this season is no different. Keep tabs on stars such as seniors Andie Aldave (Notre Dame signee) and Catie May (Maryland).
As for the ninth-ranked Falcons, Good Counsel went 18–3 in 2016?—?one of those losses was to McDonogh. But head coach Michael Haight’s team did defeat three nationally ranked teams last season. Make sure to circle these names to watch during the April 8th game, seniors Taylor McDaniels (North Carolina) and Halle Graham (Viginia).
In the nightcap of the two-game showcase, the Dons and the Bulldogs (No. 11 in the C2C Lacrosse North America Rankings) will face off at 7 p.m. The Dons enter year two under the tutelage of alum, Ben Rubeor. Even though Loyola-Blakefield lost some weapons to graduation, the Dons will still be in good shape to have a promising 2017. Senior goalie Jake Stout (Towson) and junior longpole Kobe Smith (Navy) should give Rubeor confidence in his teams defense this season. While senior attackman Phil Weiss (Towson) will spearhead the offense.
“We are very excited to be out here and to be playing a team like Bullis who we havent played before,” said Stout.
The reigning IAC Champions will look to remain a top of one of the toughest conferences in the country this season. Bullis returns a strong team. The name Alex Trippi will be talked about a lot this season. The senior attackman who is UNC-bound next fall should be a very tough challenge to stop for the Dons defense on April 8. Other players to keep an eye on this season are, junior Kyle Fairbanks (Navy) on defense and Michael Chiaramonte (Boston U.) will be a force at midfield for the Bulldogs.
“We’re going to have our hands full against Loyola,” said head coach Jeff Bellistri.
Trippi is thrilled to have Bullis back on the big stage for the second year in a row at the PNC Invitational.
“It means a lot; last year it meant a lot,” he said. “But this year we’re kinda coming in sort of an underdog. Everyone thinks that we are a one-hit wonder. So to come out here (in the PNC Invitational) we can show what we can do.”